the French Left

French Left takes united stance against Macron's pension reform plans


On January 10th, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne formally unveiled President Emmanuel Macron's plans to reform the pension system, the key plank of which is to raise the legal age of retirement in France from 62 to 64 by 2030. Almost immediately trade unions announced a day of strikes and protest on January 19th. Meanwhile prominent figures on the French Left attended a political meeting arranged by independent media Reporterre and 'Fakir', to demonstrate their anger towards the reforms. As Mathieu Dejean reports, the need for unity was a theme of the evening, with calls for the Left to remain united against the proposals – and on other issues – heavily applauded by the audience.

The former abstainers on the Left now voting Macron to keep out Le Pen


In 2017 a section of the French Left refused to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round against the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen because of their profound disagreement with his politics. Now, five years later, some of those same abstainers are planning to return to the voting booths for Sunday's crucial second round vote. The reason? To make sure there is no chance that Le Pen can win by default. Mathilde Goanec spoke to some of these voters who have changed their approach since 2017.

Christiane Taubira wins French Left’s unofficial primary

France — Link

However, none of her rivals intend on dropping out of April's contest to be president of France.

Is the French Left already resigned to defeat at the 2022 presidential election?

France — Analysis

Various factions on the Left are already focussing on the Parliamentary elections in June 2022, in apparent acceptance that they are unlikely to perform well at the presidential election that takes place two months earlier. Opinion polls currently suggest that the battle to be the next French head of state in April 2022 will primarily be between the incumbent president Emmanuel Macron, the far-right and, just possibly, the traditional Right. The subsequent Parliamentary elections, to be held over two rounds on June 12th and June 19th, will meanwhile determine the political influence of the various parties on the Left in the National Assembly. Mathieu Dejean and Pauline Graulle report on the potential horse-trading among the Left ahead of those legislative elections and the impact this may have, too, on the race for the presidency itself.

French Left and Greens jockey for position ahead of 2022 presidential election

France — Analysis

The dust has barely settled from France's delayed municipal elections, held in late June, but already elements of the French Left are on manoeuvre ahead of the presidential election in 2022. At the moment there are two main groups on the Left, the radical left La France Insoumise, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and an alignment based around the Greens, who did well in the local elections, and the once-mighty Socialist Party. But as Pauline Graulle reports, the political landscape is still very fluid.

How the French Left can turn defeat into a way forward

France — Opinion

The results of the European Parliament elections in France last month were an electoral disaster for the parties of the Left, which all trailed well behind the scores attained by the far-right and President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling LREM party. But, argues François Bonnet in this op-ed article, it was not all bad news for the Left, for amid the defeat came a clarification of where it lost its path and, with that, what it must now urgently focus upon to rebuild and claim back a place in the French political landscape.

The CIA's highbrow operation to dismantle France's intellectual Left


A 1985 Central Intelligence Agency research document now released under the US Freedom of Information Act, shows how agents of the American spy agency closely followed the complex and influential works of the high priests of post-war French intelligentsia such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan and Roland Barthes, while they placed Jean-Paul Sartre under especial surveillance. Their aim was to encourage the divisions among intellectuals of the French Left and to fuel a global cultural war. Political theorist Gabriel Rockhill details and analyses the highbrow operation led by an agency more usually associated with assassinations and the covert manipulation of governments.

Jeremy Corbyn divides French Left


The election this month of veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party has been greeted variously with both delight and despair among the French Left. While Socialist Party bigwigs look on aghast at the election of what a minister described to Mediapart as “an archaic dinosaur”, one of its minority leftist rebel MPs called the event “a breath of fresh air”. Lénaïg Bredoux has been seeking out the reactions.

Pierre Rosanvallon on this thing called Sarkozy-ism

France — Interview

The arrival of Nicolas Sarkozy to the office of president has unquestionably ushered in a new era of French politics. But just what is Sarkozy-ism, his policies and regime? How is it changing French society and where is the opposition? Pierre Rosanvallon (pictured), a leading French political historian and thinker, offers his analysis in an interview with Mediapart.