How Manuel Valls ended up in a blind alley


Former prime minister Manuel Valls, who resigned last December to run in the Socialist Party’s primary to choose its presidential candidate, has controversially refused to support the election campaign his leftist rival who won the contest, Benoît Hamon. But he has also refrained from backing maverick centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, whose ideas are closer to his own. Mediapart political commentator Hubert Huertas argues here why Valls, whose ambition was to transform the French Socialist Party into something resembling the New Labour of Tony Blair, has ended up in a political dead end and left behind him a party in tatters.

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Manuel Valls is stuck up a cul-de-sac, and his predicament doesn’t date from when he lost to Benoît Hamon in the January socialist primary elections to choose the presidential candidate of the party and its allies. No, the dead end in which he finds himself is with regard to the ambition he has held for much of his career, namely to take hold of the French Socialist Party, and to transform it from its modern foundation, as enacted at the 1971 Epinay Congress, into a party resembling the New Labour of Tony Blair.