Socialist candidate Hamon struggles to make voice heard in atypical French election

By and

The official Socialist Party candidate in the French presidential election, Benoît Hamon, has been deserted by a section of the right wing of his own party who are opting to support the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron. The latest high-profile figures to support Macron are former Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë and defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a close ally of President François Hollande. Some in Hamon's team say the defections make it easier for their candidate to make his pitch on the left. But as Stéphane Alliès and Lénaïg Bredoux report, his campaign is so far pretty much inaudible.

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The party is splitting in all directions. And in terms of his campaign, nothing is happening. Since winning the primary election at the end of January the official Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon has virtually been missing in action, drowned out by the continuing media coverage of the François Fillon 'fake jobs' scandal and by the criticism aimed at him by the right wing of his own party, many of whom are tempted to back the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron. All this has left former education minister Hamon looking powerless, reduced simply to playing a walk-on part in a presidential election unlike any other.