In a tweet, Olivier Faure thanked those who placed him "very largely in the lead", believing that "activists have clearly chosen the union of the left and environmentalists".
Thank you to the thousands of socialist activists who have chosen to place me very largely at the head of this first round vote.
The strategic debate has been settled.
— Olivier Faure (@faureolivier) January 13, 2023
The orientation text of the outgoing First Secretary of the PS Olivier Faure came out on top in the vote of socialist activists on Thursday evening, ahead of that of Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, which places the two men in a duel to run for the head of the party in a week, before a congress at the end of January in Marseille.
Read also“We are a little too glued to LFI”: Nupes at the heart of the PS congress
Uncertainty remained overnight from Thursday to Friday to confirm whether Olivier Faure had passed the 50% mark, which his relatives claimed, which would ensure him the majority in the bodies of the Socialist Party, and would validate his strategy of alliance of the left within Nupes.
According to an official party source, Olivier Faure had at least 50.5% of the vote at 11:30 p.m., out of 14,000 voters (about two-thirds of potential voters), but his rival said for his part that according to his estimates, Olivier Faure gets that around 48%.
A "malicious act" on Thursday
Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol comes second with 31.5% according to him (30.5% according to his rival).
The third candidate, Hélène Geoffroy, the mayor of Vaulx-en-Velin, would be between 19% and 21% depending on the sources.
The final results should be known this Friday.
During a press briefing, Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol affirmed that the momentum was in his favor and “possible hope”, because there had been “no plebiscite for Olivier Faure”.
Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol repeated that he was the only one who could bring together all the socialists, half of whom, according to him, did not vote in the first round.
He hopes in particular to recover the votes of the voters of Hélène Geoffroy, very hostile to Olivier Faure.
Artisan, for his party, of the Nupes agreement concluded in May for the legislative elections between LFI, the PS, EELV and the PCF, Olivier Faure plays in this vote his position but also the future of the union, criticized by his two rivals.
In total some 41,000 members could vote for this first round, between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the local sections.
Read alsoAt the PS congress, Olivier Faure plays his future and that of Nupes
But the vote of the 300 socialists from abroad, the only ones to go through an electronic ballot started on Wednesday, was canceled Thursday morning after "a malicious act", according to management.
"I see the state of the PS as an opportunity to rebuild something, there is a very clear field for social democracy", explained Thomas, a 40-year-old member, who took over his card two years ago and came vote in the premises of the Paris Center section, which has 128 members.
Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, a "central path"
"Socialist ideas are not buried, we must maintain the presence of the PS, on the basis of the unity of the left", estimated Jacqueline Benassayag, 82, who has "never left the PS" since 1970, and says he does not “believe at all that the leftists are irreconcilable”.
If the Nupes agreement made it possible to keep a group of 32 socialist deputies in the National Assembly, despite the historic failure in the presidential election of candidate Anne Hidalgo (1.7%), it also deeply divided the PS, leading to departures and dissidence in the legislative elections.
For Olivier Faure, it is necessary to choose between “the gathering without exception with the whole left”, and therefore with LFI, or “the withdrawal into oneself”.
The deputy of Seine-et-Marne, who has the support of many mayors and 45 socialist parliamentarians, does not hide his wish for a common candidate from the left in 2027.
Hélène Geoffroy, supported by certain "elephants" of the PS, such as the mayor of Le Mans Stéphane Le Foll, denounces in the Nupes a "subjugation" of the PS to LFI, and had promised that the party would leave the alliance if it won.
Between the two, Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol presented a "central path".
The Norman elected official, who has the support of Anne Hidalgo and the President of Occitania Carole Delga, describes the Nupes as "a losing agreement" and wants "General States of social and ecological transformation" to "refound the left ".
A vague position, according to Olivier Faure.
“I don't know if he is for or against Nupes”.
The vote is scrutinized by the Nupes partners.
“If Olivier Faure loses, it will be terrible”, estimates an environmentalist deputy, “it will not help us”, concedes an elected Insoumis.