France’s once-dominant center-left and center-right parties still haven’t recovered from their defeat two years ago at the hands of Emmanuel Macron.
The Socialists got only 6 percent support in European elections on Sunday, the same share as the far left. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans got 8.5 percent, down from 21 percent five years ago.
Two years into Emmanuel Macron’s presidency, France’s old political parties still haven’t recovered.
The Socialists, the party of Jacques Delors and François Mitterrand, are polling at a measly 6 percent for the European elections in May. The Republicans, who trace their political roots to Charles de Gaulle, are at 12 percent. Macron’s En Marche! (“Forward!”) and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally split 40 percent of the vote. The remainder goes to splinter parties on the left and right. Read more “France’s Traditional Parties Still Haven’t Recovered from Macron”
Emmanuel Macron has redrawn the political map of France.
There used to be two major parties, one of the center-left (Socialists) and one of the center-right (Republicans), with smaller parties on the far left and far right. Macron’s centrist project, La République En Marche!, has thrown them all in disarray.
France Unbowed is a new far-left party cobbled together by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a former communist. Although an improvement over the once hopelessly divided politics of the far left, it doesn’t get more than 20 percent support.
For the Socialists, there isn’t much room between France Unbowed on the left and Macron in the center. Their support is in the single digits.
The Republicans are similarly caught between Macron on the one hand and the National Front on the other, but at least they still have a substantial base of around 20 percent.
Neither of France’s two major political parties was able to get their candidate into the second voting round of the presidential election last week. That failure, without precedent in the history of the Fifth Republic, has plunged them both into a deep crisis.
The situation is worst in the Socialist Party, which has lost the presidency and is almost certain to lose its majority in the National Assembly next month.
The party’s failed candidate, Benoît Hamon, has announced the start of a new left-wing “movement” despite winning just over 6 percent support in the first presidential voting round.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who placed fourth with 20 percent support, has called on Hamon to join him.
The two leftists failed to do a deal during the presidential contest. Two things have changed: Hamon may no longer feel he owes loyalty to a party that failed to unite behind him and Mélenchon has lost the backing of the French Communist Party. It is fielding candidates against his La France insoumise in the legislative elections in June, splitting the far-left vote. Read more “After Presidential Defeat, French Parties Divided”
With two weeks to go until the French Socialists elect their presidential candidate, Manuel Valls is not so subtly tilting to the left.
The former prime minister, who made a name for himself as a reformer, now says neither the 35-hour workweek nor France’s high wealth taxes need to be reformed after all.
Valls’ concessions to the left make short-term political sense. Benoît Hamon and Arnaud Montebourg, two far-left firebrands, are up in the polls. Valls is still the favorite to win the nomination, but only narrowly. Recent surveys suggest he could struggle in a second voting round against either of his opponents.
But he takes a longer-term risk.
Valls’ electability in a general election would hinge on his credibility as a social democrat. If he veers too far to the left, true believers may decide there is no point in supporting him anymore over Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the otherwise hopeless far-left candidate, while more moderate center-left voters could defect to Emmanuel Macron, the former economy minister under Valls who is running as an independent. Read more “Valls Jeopardizes His Credibility as a Reformer by Tilting to the Left”
Surveys suggest the French Socialists could make the same mistake as the British Labour Party and lurch to the left next year, taking themselves out of contention for the presidential and parliamentary elections that due in April and May.
Arnaud Montebourg, a fierce anticapitalist and former economy minister, is neck and neck with Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the center-left candidate, in the polls.
Ifop and Harris Interactive both give Valls 51 percent support in a hypothetical runoff against 49 percent for Montebourg.
Two Ipsos surveys conducted earlier this year put Montebourg ahead.