Jean-Luc Mélenchon

Could voters in tough French suburbs swing election surprise?

France — Link

In the 'banlieues', the urban rings of high-rise, run-down housing estates where about seven percent of the French population lives, many are disillusioned with five years of Socialist Party rule, an electorate which radical-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, gaining ground in opinion polls just days before the first-round vote, is tapping in to.

How Mélenchon's spin doc was inspired by Bernie Sanders' campaign

International — Link

Sophia Chikirou, the French presidential election campaign communications director for radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, spent three months last year as a volunteer with the campaign team of Democrat presidential nominee contender Bernie Sanders, when she learnt how to offset a low budget with use of social media, the internet and hi-tech.  

Hollande slams buoyant radical-left presidential candidate Mélenchon

France — Link

In an interview with a weekly news magazine, socialist French president François Hollande attacked radical-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, currently on the rise in opinion surveys, for campaigning on 'generalisations and lies', while also lending thinly-veiled support for maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron. 

How Syrian crisis entered the French presidential election


The decision by United States president Donald Trump to launch air strikes against the regime in Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons has created waves in France's election campaign. Most of the presidential candidates have been critical of the unilateral American action. Two notable exceptions are Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon and, to a lesser extent, the independent candidate and favourite Emmanuel Macron. Lénaïg Bredoux reports on how the candidates for the Elysée have reacted to the Syrian crisis.

France's Macron sees election lead narrow after TV debate

France — Link

Poll gives independent candidate 23.5% of the vote, his lowest score in a month, and equal with far-right's Marine Le Pen.

Is this French presidential election's unpredictability really so unusual?

France — Chronicle

The chatter about the French presidential election focuses on the likely high abstention rate, the record number of undecided voters, a possible last-minute surge by the Right and whether one can trust the polls. In particular, just under three weeks from the first round of voting, the talk is of how unpredictable and hard to forecast this 2017 election is. But, Hubert Huertas, argues it is no more unpredictable than usual. It is just that when it comes to the mood of voters, the rules have changed.

France's left-wing rebel Jean-Luc Mélenchon targets the disenchanted

France — Link

Presidential candidate without a party overtakes official socialist candidate Benoît Hamon in polls and vows to make second round of election.

France's Jean-Luc Mélenchon has backing for presidential run

France — Link

The radical left politician said he had gathered the requisite 500 endorsements from Parliamentarians and mayors to stand in contest.

France's right-wing scandals leave socialists struggling to be heard

France — Link

Presidential candidates Benoît Hamon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon complain that uproar is smothering discussion of the real campaign issues.

France's dying Fifth Republic reduced to a human interest story

France — Opinion

The French Republic is in its death throes, having been taken hostage by a maniac – François Fillon - who is riding roughshod over the legal system, insulting the press, scorning his own elected representatives and calling on divisive factions for help. Having destroyed political parties, corrupted Parliament and having undermined voting itself, the Fifth Republic is now reaching the climax of its democracy-destroying operation. It is time to get rid of it, writes Mediapart's editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel, before it is too late.

French presidential race: the insoluble divide of the Left

France — Analysis

With just ten weeks to go before voting begins in the first round of France’s presidential elections, newly-elected Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon has revealed a campaign team made up of fellow leftwingers but also of allies of President François Hollande and former prime minister Manuel Valls.  While Hamon’s olive branch to the party’s Right may dissipate its predicted desertion in favour of maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron, it suggests there can be little, if any, chance that he can reach an alliance with radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Mediapart political analyst Hubert Huertas sketches here the fundamental divide between Mélenchon and Hamon and what is at stake for the future of the Socialist Party.

France's radical-left Mélenchon uses hologram to spread election message

France — Link

Mélenchon wants to be seen as key adversary of Marine Le Pen, choosing same city and almost same time as her to launch his campaign.

The thwarted generation of socialists taking a tilt at the French presidency

France — Analysis

The four main contenders to be the official mainstream socialist candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections, Benoît Hamon, Arnaud Montebourg, Vincent Peillon and Manuel Valls, know each other extremely well. For more than 20 years the members of this quartet have occupied important positions and roles in the Socialist Party and were once hailed as a new generation destined to modernise the party. Now, having never been able to form lasting alliances among themselves, and having been 'blocked' by the generation above them, the four are all standing against each other in the party's primary to choose a candidate for the Elysée. Stéphane Alliès and Donatien Huet report on four politicians who have waited a long time for their chance to become president.

Fall of Aleppo reveals fault lines in French politics

International — Analysis

The end of the battle for Syria's second city and the plight of its civilians have drawn different responses from across France's political spectrum. On the Right the line taken by conservative presidential candidate François Fillon has been close to that of the far-right Front National, with his defence of the Assad regime and Vladimir Putin. The ruling Socialist Party and the Greens have emphasised their support for Syria's opposition, while the radical left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has adopted an anti-imperialist stance, with the United States as his main target. Lénaïg Bredoux, Lucie Delaporte and Christophe Gueugneau report.

Why Fillon's win has thrown down the gauntlet to the entire French Left

France — Analysis

The crushing win in Sunday's conservative primary by former prime minister François Fillon shows that the French Right is not worried about its electoral opponents, writes Mediapart's Hubert Huertas. In choosing the most hardline candidate with the most radical austerity programme since the end of World War II, right-wing voters have delivered a message of supreme confidence. As far as they are concerned, it is as if left-wing opposition no longer exists. So how, he asks, will the French Left respond?