Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/952/25636

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 June 2017

France - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

Anti-worker French president Emmanuel Macron, photo by kremlin.ru/CC

Anti-worker French president Emmanuel Macron, photo by kremlin.ru/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Clare Doyle, Committee for a Workers' International

Amid the trumpeting about a massive vote for the party of the new president, Emmanuel Macron, in the first round of France's parliamentary election on 11 June, a deep malaise pervades French society. This is indicated by a record number of voters staying away from the polling booths; less than half of the electorate turned out.

Macron's newly formed party, LREM (La République en Marche), may end up after the 18 June second round with 445 of the Assembly's 577 seats - "potentially the biggest majority since president Charles de Gaulle's conservatives and allies got 80% of seats in 1968" as Reuters commented (after 58% of the votes in the first round). But that was on a nearly 80% turnout.

It should also be remembered that it was a Pyrrhic victory as, within a year, a national referendum on which de Gaulle staked his future went against him and he retired from political life.

The 6.3 million votes for LREM is far less than Hollande achieved in 2012 (10.3 million for the presidential majority in the first round) or Sarkozy in 2007 (11 million).

Macron was the first choice for president of less than 25% of voters. His vote of just 16% of those eligible to vote is actually less than the proportion of Britain's electorate who voted for the party of the hapless Theresa May.

The right-wing Republicans came second with 15.77% and Le Pen's Front National got 13.2%. Marine le Pen came top of the poll in her northern constituency of Henin-Beaumont (North), but may be defeated by the kind of 'anti' vote which saw Macron defeat her in the second round of the presidential election.

Her party could end up with no more than four seats in parliament. 15 are needed to form a parliamentary group with rights to be able to speak at each session and propose laws.

France Insoumise is the organisation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon who, with his pro-worker and anti-capitalist programme, won seven million votes in the presidential election, nearly reaching the second round.

It, too, is hoping for enough seats to form a parliamentary group. With 11% of the first round votes for parliament, it fared better than the ill-fated so-called Socialist Party (PS).

The vote for the previously governing pro-capitalist PS collapsed from 29.35% to 7.4% (9.5% with allies).

The party's presidential candidate, Francois Hamon, was defeated in his constituency as was the PS secretary, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, who acknowledged that the first round marked an "unprecedented" setback for the party which was expected to get between 30 and 40 seats in total.

The future of the party is in the balance. As Gauche Révolutionnaire - the CWI affiliate in France - has explained, there could be a three-way split and an eventual disappearance of the one-time social democratic party that had both the president and a parliamentary majority until two months ago.

It was the refusal of the PS to take on the French bosses and the banks and make them pay for the economic crisis that saw workers, young people and sections of the middle class involved in a mass movement of strikes and demonstrations in the spring of last year.

Mass discontent

Macron, with a background in banking and no party allegiance, had been taken into the Hollande government as Minister for the Economy to assist in pushing through the deeply unpopular changes to the country's labour law.

Now, as president, he has declared his intention to continue on this path and get new laws ensuring 'flexible labour markets' rammed through by presidential measures in June and ready for full adoption in September.

The trade union leaders have warned him to 'go slowly' on these plans, and there is some talk of protests in June, before the big shutdown of the summer holidays. But much more should be done.

Macron has been presented in the capitalist press internationally as neither left nor right, but his programme is blatantly pro-business - continuing attacks on the welfare state while lowering taxes on the rich.

He has also announced plans for France's state of emergency to be permanently written into law.

As Rachel Mahé of Gauche Révolutionnaire said in a post-election speech to those who supported her candidacy on behalf of France Insoumise in Drôme, southern France: "Macron's policies will amount to a 'social coup d'état'. Mass resistance must be built from today onwards!"

Rachel got a very creditable 10% of the vote - the highest score of the 'left' candidates in her constituency - far more than the Communist Party (who had refused to make an alliance with her, despite the proposal of a joint ticket) or the PS.

There can be all sorts of deals and realignments for the second round of elections on 18 June. There will be a big push for more people to go out and vote.

But, as Gauche Révolutionnaire has said, given the mass discontent among workers, the continuing industrial battles taking place, the counter-reforms in education and the lack of jobs for young people, the more important battles will be in the workplaces and on the streets.

The political follow-up consists in elaborating how a new left force can build on the success of Mélenchon's movement and arguing for clear socialist policies that can gather support and destroy the apparent invincibility of the Macron phenomenon.

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


In The Socialist 14 June 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

City bosses' £40m bonuses as Number of food banks hits 2,000

Low-paid work till lunch to make rent

Young workers in unions earn 20% more

Corbyn surge beats Trump


General election 2017

May and Tories must go!

Northern Ireland: DUP propping up the Tories

Scotland - SNP loses but Labour could've won more

Wales: Corbyn's left surge refutes right-wing Labour doomsayers

General election: what you thought about it

Corbyn's support increases further during last week of campaign

Rallying in support of Corbyn's policies

Large turnout to hear Jeremy Corbyn


International socialist news and analysis

France - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

International news in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

NSSN conference: workers' action to kick out the Tories

GMB conference: angry mood from delegates

LSE victory

Window strikers joined by second plant

Exploited agency workers organise


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The fight goes on - let's make it a socialist fight to win

Racist EDL humiliated for third time

From Militant to the Socialist Party


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 June 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

France:

triangleFrench Labour reform protests

triangleFrench elections: Macron's win

triangleFrench elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

triangleFrance: Macron won't solve economic & social crises

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: France after the presidential election

Election:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

Workers:

triangleWorkers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

Capitalist:

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

Sarkozy:

triangleFrance: Burkini ban fuels division

CWI:

triangleCampaign against political repression in Hong Kong

Marine Le Pen:

triangleMélenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force

International

International

18/10/17

Hong Kong

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleMore International articles...


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

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

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

V2