France: the decline of the left is accelerating

The socialist candidate for the presidency, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has achieved a first. With 1.75% of the vote, she obtained the worst result in the history of her party in the presidential elections. In 2017, the Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon had already suffered a humiliating defeat by obtaining only 6.36% of the vote.

We will see if the results of the next legislative elections will be similar to those of the presidential one. The Socialist Party is gambling on its survival. Is a credible government left still possible? Certainly not with François Hollande who, it is said, dreams of making a to come backas the French would say. He promised an “initiative” after the second round of presidential elections.

Abyssal unpopularity

I doubt that the party, more than a century old (ex-SFIO), will recover from its catastrophic electoral failure, given the colossal challenges it faces.

He will never take the place, now dominant on the left, of “La France Insoumise” and its leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came third just a few thousand votes behind Marine Le Pen.

  • Listen to Normand Lester’s column at the microphone of Mario Dumont on QUB Radio:

The PS is divided between a pragmatic wing and a leftist wing. This causes credibility problems for its leaders. François Hollande is responsible for this situation. The former president campaigned on the left and embraced center-right economic measures once elected.

Since Anne Hidalgo did not obtain 5% of the vote or more, her electoral campaign will not receive any public funding. Does bankruptcy threaten his party again? In 2017, the PS had been forced to sell its emblematic headquarters on rue de Solférino in the 7th arrondissement of Paris to clean up its finances after its electoral debacle.

Currently of an abyssal unpopularity, the Socialist Party has been making a terrible disembarkation for ten years. In 2012, after François Hollande won the presidential election, he controlled all the country’s political institutions, including most cities and regions.

Its current electoral disaster will diminish the party’s ability to impose its candidates in safe left-wing constituencies in the legislative elections next June.

The popular classes move to the right

The traditional French left, essentially the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, has always represented the working classes.

Now, the PS is above all a party of civil servants, teachers and office workers, deserted for a long time by manual workers, whom it shared with the Communist Party before they were seduced by the National Rally of Marine Le Pen.

Industrial workers are now replaced by robots. It is a significant part of the left-wing electorate that has disappeared. The draconian cuts still to come in the public service will amplify the phenomenon.

The attraction of under-educated and proletarianized social groups for the Socialist Party and the Communist Party is on a downward slope. According to the opinion poll institute IFOP, only 36% of the inhabitants of working-class neighborhoods planned to vote for a left-wing candidate in the presidential election, whereas they had voted for the left at 54% in 2012.

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