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.
The first round of France's regional and département or county elections took place on Sunday June 20th and one of the major stories of the day was the record level of abstention, with nearly two out of three voters staying home. A year before the presidential election another key outcome was the poor showing of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN), led by Marine Le Pen, which despite doing well in opinion polls only came top in one region. Elsewhere the biggest winners of the night were the conservative Right, while the vote for the Left and the Greens held up better than many had predicted. Perhaps the biggest loser of the night was Emmanuel Macron's ruling La République en Marche party which failed even to come second in any region. The second and final round of voting takes place on Sunday June 27th. Mathilde Goanec, Ellen Salvi, Lucie Delaporte, Ilyes Ramdani and Pauline Graulle report.
The veteran Chad leader Idriss Déby Itno, a close ally of France for many years, died in April, reportedly after being wounded on the battlefield fighting against an armed rebel group in the country. That group is the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), led by a man called Mahamat Mahdi Ali. The rebel leader has close links with France; he spent part of his life here and his family still lives in Reims, north east of Paris. He was also a member of the Socialist Party before he says he was “betrayed” by his former comrades when they were in government; he was subject to financial sanctions from the authorities in Paris over what he says are unfounded claims of links to terrorist groups. Some observers see the targeting of Mahamat Mahdi Ali as a favour by the authorities in Paris to the Déby regime, which has been a stalwart supporter of France's anti-terrorism strategy in the region. Rémi Carayol reports.
Olivier Faure, 49, is to become the new leader of France's Socialist Party, which suffered a crushing defeat in last year's legislative elections, after comfortably winning the first of two rounds of voting and with the announcement on Friday that his only serious rival, former agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll, will not stand for the final round on March 29th.
Following its heavy defeat in this year's presidential and legislative elections, which has led to a significant decline in public subsidies to a backdrop of a haemorrhage of suppporters and internal splits, the French Socialist Party has announced the sale of its grand Paris headquarters for 45.5 million euros.
The Socialist Party performed miserably in the French presidential elections and poorly in the subsequent Parliamentary elections, and is so short of money it is selling off its party headquarters at rue de Solférino in Paris. It has now also just announced a redundancy plan which will see the number of staff it employs in Paris cut from 97 to just 38 by the spring of 2018. Employees, meanwhile, are complaining about the likely redundancy terms. Christophe Gueugneau reports.
The French Socialist Party emerged from last Sunday’s legislative election first round in tatters, dwarfed not only by the massive surge of president Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist party, but also the conservatives, the far-right and, importantly, the radical-left. The results followed its disastrous score in the presidential elections, and it is forecast to be put to the sword in the final round this coming weekend. The party’s debacle is more than a simple election defeat; it signals the end of the road for it as a party of government, argues Fabien Escalona, a specialist in European social democrat movements. In this analysis, he argues that the rare previous examples of parties of Western democracies that have similarly collapsed offer little hope it will ever recover.
The French Socialist Party is closer than ever to implosion following the announcement by one of its veteran stalwarts, defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, that he was backing maverick centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, a former economy minister and advisor to President François Hollande, instead of the party’s nominee Benoît Hamon. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.
Maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron received a significant boost to his presidential election campaign when defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a veteran Socialist Party figure, announced his support for Macron's candidature in an interview published Friday.
Socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon, trailing centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen in opinion surveys of voting intentions, held a major rally in Paris in which he described rightwing rivals as being candidates of 'the money party'.
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.
Former prime minister Manuel Valls has refused to publicly back Benoît Hamon, the French Socialist Party's presidential candidate who beat him in party primary elections earlier this year with a markedly a leftwing programme in contrast to that of Valls.
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.