Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/945/25305

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2017

French presidential election

Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

The huge crowd at Melenchon's rally in Toulouse photo Terry Adams

The huge crowd at Melenchon's rally in Toulouse photo Terry Adams   (Click to enlarge)

Terry Adams, Tarn, France

European capitalism is in crisis. It is failing to deliver the basic requirements for the working class on jobs, pay, pensions, housing, health and education. In this situation choices emerge on the right and left. Such is the case in France today.

The presidential election first round ballot takes place on 23 April. There are eleven candidates which in practice narrows down to four, two of whom will go through to a second ballot on 7 May.

The four are Marine Le Pen (Front Nationale - far-right) François Fillon (Républicains - conservative right), Emmanuel Macron (En Marche! - neoliberal) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France Insoumise - 'France Unbowed' - left).

Le Pen is almost certain to go through to the next round. Fillon has faltered, engulfed by a sea of financial scandals. Macron, who until a few weeks ago looked like a shoe-in, has been exposed as programmatically weak and he too has stalled. This leaves Mélenchon who, with a week to go, has developed momentum.

Enthusiasm for Mélenchon and his anti-austerity programme was evident at his rally in Toulouse, Prairie des Filtres, on 16 April. The 70,000-strong crowd included a large number of young people. There are parallels here with the Sanders and Corbyn campaigns.

Rally

Mélenchon's hour-long speech was punctuated throughout with cries from the crowd of "résistance" and, addressed to the liberal elite political class, "dégagez" (make way!)

Any mention of Le Pen, Fillon or Macron was greeted with a loud chorus of boos.

The rally concluded with a huge rendition of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, accompanied by much waving of the tricolour.

This seemed to be a conscious act of reclamation of the symbols of the French Republic from Le Pen ("La reine de l'extrème droite" - queen of the far right) who has sought to appropriate these symbols as her own.

Mélenchon's social programme is a solid set of radical reforms. But there is a weakness in his overall programme and that is the economy. Proposed measures like 100% tax on annual earnings of over €400,000 will, if implemented, go some way towards financing his reforms, eg increased minimum wage and a retirement age of 60 with pension of €1,000 a month.

But bringing down the scandalously high unemployment levels, especially among the youth, will require the planned use of resources, which in turn poses issues of control and ownership of capital.

Moves in this direction, even his limited bank nationalisation programme, will bring Mélenchon into direct conflict with French business interests. Is he really prepared to take the French capitalist class head on?

It's anybody's guess which of the four principal candidates will go through to the second ballot. But Mélenchon is in with a good chance - the momentum is with him.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 April 2017:


What we think

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government


Socialist Party news and analysis

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Them & Us


Jobstown Not Guilty

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty


Save our NHS

What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?


International socialist news and analysis

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

Relaunch of socialistworld.net


Workplace news and analysis

CWU conference: fight Royal Mail pension attack

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Weapons workers continue pension strike

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Buses and buggies: a driver speaks

The Socialist inbox


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Energetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

Doncaster mayoral election: Socialist Steve campaign diary

TUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 April 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

France:

triangleFrance: Groundswell of support for left candidate

Election:

triangleA bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories

triangleDoncaster TUSC election rally: Tories Out, Corbyn4PM, Socialist Steve for mayor

triangleLen McCluskey re-election - a defeat for the right

triangleMerseyside TUSC pre-election public meeting

Candidates:

triangleEnergetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

triangleLast quarter's fighting fund target smashed, now make our voice heard in elections

triangleDoncaster: Socialist Steve's growing support

Marine Le Pen:

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

Anti-austerity:

triangleNHS worker to stand for mayor of Doncaster

International

International

19/4/17

Turkey

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

19/4/17

Trump

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

19/4/17

Ireland

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty

19/4/17

CWI

Relaunch of socialistworld.net

19/4/17

France

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

12/4/17

France

France: Groundswell of support for left candidate

12/4/17

Ireland

Ireland: Bury the water charges

12/4/17

Syria

Attacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

5/4/17

Ireland

Gagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state

5/4/17

Yemen

Justice for Yemen workers

5/4/17

Japan

Fukushima nuclear disaster - a terrifying legacy

5/4/17

Turkey

Turkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

29/3/17

South Africa

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

29/3/17

Europe

Belarus: movement developing against regime

29/3/17

Northern Ireland

Martin McGuinness: from IRA leader to Stormont minister

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle25 Apr A bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories

triangle21 Apr Len McCluskey re-election - a defeat for the right

triangle19 Apr Protest is not a crime

triangle19 Apr Fightback against Royal Mail pension attack needed

triangle19 Apr Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

triangle19 Apr What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?

triangle19 Apr Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

More ...

triangle26 Apr Salford Socialist Party: Russian Revolution 1917 - the April Theses

triangle26 Apr Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Defend the right to protest

triangle27 Apr Waltham Forest Socialist Party: Fight back against attacks to education

triangle27 Apr Bradford Socialist Party: The situation in Northern Ireland and implications for the UK

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice