Socialists ponder their strategy faced with self-destruction of UMP

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The right-wing opposition party, the UMP, has been very publicly falling apart after a disastrous leadership election. In the ranks of the ruling Socialist Party MPs and officials have had some fun at the expense of their bitter rivals, and the government has been able to press forward with legislation almost unopposed. But some socialist MPs fear the squabbles in the UMP will reflect badly on all political parties. Others are increasingly concerned that the government is adopting the wrong strategy in the face of the opposition’s melt-down, and favouring social democratic policies over genuine socialist measures. Stéphane Alliès and Mathieu Magnaudeix assess the mood in Parliament.

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The fratricidal row that is tearing apart the right-wing opposition party the UMP after a disastrous leadership campaign (see here, here and here) has prompted humour among the ranks of the ruling Socialist Party (PS). Some recall the fallout in their own party when in 2008 Martine Aubry and Ségolène Royal fought a bitter battle for the control of the PS at a party conference at Reims, with Aubry eventually triumphing. “Martine and Ségolène let their lieutenants slug it out but they never went this far,” insists Socialist MP Jean-Marc Germain, an ally of Aubry.