'Hollande and Valls have broken the Left'

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Mediapart was present at a public meeting at Nanterre, west of Paris, to discuss the forthcoming presidential election when the news broke that President François Hollande would not be standing for re-election in that contest. Many of those present in the hall were supporters of the Left who had voted for Hollande at the 2012 election. Some were quick to voice their dismay at his presidency's record, while the majority expressed general indifference and the meeting quickly resumed. As Mathieu Magnaudeix reports, it was a sign of just how irrelevant the president had already become to many ordinary voters.

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Twitter is going crazy: it is 8 p.m. on Thursday and President François Hollande has just started talking live on television from the Elysée. At Nanterre in the western suburbs of Paris the chatter has not yet breached the walls of the Agora citizens' centre. To be honest no one in the hall knows that the president of the Republic is broadcasting live to the nation.