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"Even to commemorate Mitterrand, it's the bazaar": forty years later, the left in ruins


While the Socialists celebrate the anniversary of the accession to power of François Mitterrand, the left is in bad shape with one year of the p

Souvenir sequence at Le Creusot.

François Hollande, Lionel Jospin, Bernard Cazeneuve, Pierre Joxe, Jean Glavany, Anne Hidalgo… The socialist family gathered this Sunday in the industrial city of Saône-et-Loire to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first election of François Mitterrand.

The whole family ?

No, the first secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure ostensibly shunned the appointment to participate in the March for the Parisian climate and is organizing his own online event this Monday evening.

"Even to commemorate Mitterrand, it's a mess," sighs an elected socialist.

Because if the period is in the nostalgia of the "people of the left", who remembers on May 10 the advent of the first socialist president of the Fifth Republic, the jubilation on the Place de la Bastille and the series of reforms that followed (retirement at age 60, abolition of the death penalty, increase in the minimum wage, etc.), the hypothesis of a new “May 10” in 2022 seems out of reach for the time being.

One year before the presidential election, the left leaves in dispersed order and continues to divide.

To read also François Hollande, 40 years after the victory of Mitterrand: "The cycle opened in 1981 is not closed"

The rebellious leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, declared candidate for his third presidential election, envisages a rally only behind him.

Environmentalists, boosted by the green wave in Europeans, then in municipal elections, now dream of being “in control” and preparing for their internal primary, scheduled for the end of September.

And the Socialist Party, recovering from its heavy defeat in 2017 and the internal fractures born of the quinquennium Holland, is still looking for a champion, waiting in particular for Anne Hidalgo to clarify her intentions.

Without counting the now Communist candidate Fabien Roussel, who was invested by his troops this Sunday.

The socialist family, including François Hollande, Lionel Jospin and Anne Hidalgo, celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the first election of Francois Mitterrand this Sunday in Le Creusot.

AFP / Jean-Philippe Ksiazek

"We have a scattered and weakened left which is no longer a main political player in this election," sums up political scientist Gérard Grunberg.

In the polls, its putative candidates get barely 30% of the voting intentions, whereas they had collected more than 50% of the ballots in the first round of 1981.

And none of them seem able to qualify in the second round.

“We are not in a moment of recomposition but of decomposition of the left, analyzes David Cormand, ex-number one of EELV.

It lacks a leader, like Mitterrand, a strong party, like the PS of 1981, and above all a clear political offer.

For me, only ecology is capable of carrying a project for the transformation of society.


Towards a union with the ecologists?

His colleague MEP EELV Yannick Jadot, who would see himself at the Élysée Palace, tried to outline a path towards union by bringing together the different components of the left in a Parisian hotel on April 17.

But if the meeting resulted in a non-aggression pact after

the heated controversy over single-sex meetings of the UNEF and secularism, he also acted as the sole rider of La France insoumise.

Absent due to a trip to Latin America, Jean-Luc Mélenchon described the meeting as "a comedy for all those who are still going to jump in circles for several months, shouting:

Union, union, union


Close the ban.

A rapprochement between socialists and environmentalists, defended by Olivier Faure like Yannick Jadot, remains possible.

“If they agree, the election remains open, believes Bruno Cautrès, researcher at Cevipof.

And this, even if Mélenchon presents himself.

After all, in 1981, Communist Georges Marchais' 15% in the first round did not prevent Mitterrand from winning.


But who will step aside in front of the other?

Environmentalists, who have already rallied the socialist candidate in 2017, believe that their turn has come.

And not sure that in the PS, everyone sees a presidential election without a socialist pretender, starting with François Hollande.

The balance of power resulting from the regional will perhaps make it possible to see more clearly but in the meantime, the puzzle of the left remains unresolved.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2021-05-12

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