On 22nd August 1962, on a road outside Paris, twelve OAS paramilitaries attempted to assassinate President de Gaulle. The Citroen DS19 carrying the president and his wife was hit by twenty bullets, but both occupants escaped. The attackers were disgruntled French-Algerian partisans seeking to prevent Algerian independence. De Gaulle became their target after he condemned and halted a generals coup in Algiers in April 1961.
The would-be assassins were led by Lieutenant Colonel Bastien-Thiry and his second in command, Lieutenant Alain de La Tocnaye. Bastien-Thiry was subsequently found guilty and became the last person in France to be shot by firing squad. De La Tocnaye was also sentenced to death but released after only five years in prison, dying in Cavaillon in January 2009. His political views were so extreme right that he thought de Gaulle was a “crypto-communist”. He remained an active extremist all his life, involved in the Parti Nationaliste Francais and the Mouvement Travail Patrie before joining the Front National. 
Which brings me to the current elections for 577 seats in the Legislative Assembly, the first round of which took place yesterday. If no-one achieves more than 50% of the vote in any given electorate then it goes to a second round run-off between the two leading candidates next Sunday 18th June. Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche is expected to dominate the final round securing more than 400 seats. Other parties, such as the Parti Socialiste will be decimated, but there are local pockets of support for the conservative Les Republicains, the far-right Front Nationale and the communist La France Insoumise (France Unbowed). Our little commune of Lacoste has only 308 registered electors, being part of a wider electorate which includes Bonnieux, Cavaillon and l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Yesterday 170 votes were cast in Lacoste, with just twelve choosing the Front National candidate, a certain Thibault de La Tocnaye…….