regardless of the Popular Front, the left divided round Jean-Luc Mélenchon | EUROtoday

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Two days after the announcement of early legislative elections on June 30 and July 7, the left is organizing round a “popular front”. The Ecologists, France Insoumise, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party will current distinctive candidates in every constituency. But many questions stay unanswered, notably the place of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a rebellious chief who has develop into a foil for a lot of of his former allies.

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Bone of discord on the left. By unanimously declaring that the union of the left round a “popular front” for the early legislative elections wouldn’t happen below the management of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the socialist, communist and environmentalist allies of La France Insoumise (LFI) are redistributing the playing cards.

The leaders of the 4 major left-wing events (LFI, PS, Ecologists, PCF) certainly discovered widespread floor on Monday June 10 and known as for “single candidacies from the first round” of the legislative elections on June 30 to supply an alternative choice to the National Rally (RN) and to Emmanuel Macron. Negotiations resumed on Tuesday June 11 to refine a standard program and distribute the 577 constituencies, however the selection of a determine to embody this union stays pending.

For the Insoumis, there isn’t any query of ceding management, acquired in 2022, when the identify of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, along with his 22% within the presidential election, stood out as a candidate for Matignon. But Sunday's European vote adjustments the state of affairs: Manon Aubry obtained solely 9.9% of the votes. And above all, LFI is left behind by the top of the Place publique-Socialist Party listing Raphaël Glucksmann (13.8%), who has by no means hidden his want to alter the stability of forces on the left, however who has not but clearly dedicated to its presence inside this new widespread entrance.

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“If Jean-Luc Mélenchon was able to benefit from the national electoral dynamic of the presidential election in 2022, this context is no longer relevant today,” analyzes Arnaud Mercier, professor of data and communication sciences. communication on the University of Paris 2-Assas. “It is impossible to reproduce the pattern of 2022, and it seems that Jean-Luc Mélenchon himself does not wish to declare himself a candidate for Matignon during these legislative elections.”


Within the union, the three different forces want to do with out him: the socialist chief Olivier Faure declared Tuesday morning on TF1 that “there is no logic” for the rebellious chief “to be the candidate” of the left for the put up of Prime Minister. “He was not within the discussions [de lundi soir]”, underlined for his part the communist Fabien Roussel on France 2.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is increasingly criticized for his propensity to act alone without consultation and to conflict everything: with his positions on the riots in the suburbs, refusing to call for calm after the death of young Nahel, or in imposing his strategy of obstruction on pension reform, his popularity plummeted. But the major breaking point came on October 7. Since the deadly Hamas attacks in Israel, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has been accused of having an ambiguous speech on anti-Semitism. The lack of empathy for the Israeli victims in the LFI press release caused a rift within Nupes. On , in accordance with UN resolutions.”

“A large number of people on the left, including a fraction of EELV, have turned away from Mélenchon, in particular because of feminist issues since the Quatennens affair [député condamné en 2022 pour violences conjugales qui a depuis réintégré le groupe parlementaire LFI]but also questions of anti-Semitism and the essentialization of the Muslim community,” analyzes Virginie Martin, professor of political science and sociology at Kedge Business School. “He is seen as a foil similar to the figure of Marine Le Pen.”

More broadly, the persona and feedback of Jean-Luc Mélenchon have made him a bête noire for a lot of French individuals and a part of the left-wing citizens. According to an Ifop ballot revealed on May 14, the previous presidential candidate is seen as a handicap for La France Insoumise (76%), Nupes (79%), and for the return of the left to energy (80%). . Since the announcement of this alliance, many socialist voters have refused to vote for a candidate labeled LFI on June 30.

Laurent Berger or François Ruffin?

But then, how can we designate the persona more likely to develop into Prime Minister within the occasion of a victory for the left within the legislative elections? Raphaël Glucksmann instructed that the previous secretary common of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, be appointed Prime Minister. “This allows us to say that the Popular Front is not exclusively an agreement between political parties. It must be something much broader,” stated Olivier Faure, advocating a authorities open to civil society. On LCI, the environmentalist MP Sandrine Rousseau additionally talked about the Laurent Berger choice, but additionally that of the rebellious maverick François Ruffin.

“Ruffin Prime Minister!”, chanted Monday night the left-wing activists gathered below the home windows of the Parisian HQ of the Ecologists, to place stress on the totally different events in the midst of negotiating the union. The LFI deputy from the Somme, identified for his presidential ambitions and his variations with the management of the novel left motion, can boast of getting proposed the time period of a brand new “Popular Front” on Sunday night, which was rapidly adopted. A reference to the coalition which allowed the left to win the elections in 1936. In the method, François Ruffin launched a marketing campaign platform of the identical identify. But his ambitions may rapidly be shattered.

Read additionallyAfter the decision for a brand new “Popular Front”, a glance again on the “immense hope” raised in 1936

“Jean-Luc Mélenchon and La France Insoumise will not allow François Ruffin to take the reins,” warns Rémi Lefebvre, political scientist and specialist on the left. “Mélenchon will always refuse to allow Ruffin to lead the coalition, because he now sees him as a potential rival for the 2027 presidential election.”

Faced with the absence of a unifying determine, the Popular Front may select to not nominate a candidate to steer the cohabitation authorities which might come out of the polls on July 7. “The campaign could take place with spokespersons, one for each party, thus favoring collegiality,” continues the knowledgeable. “They must first agree on a program and the constituencies, which is already very complex in a week.”