This week confirmed recent trends: violence at Zemmour’s 1st meeting, a Macron tour de force to launch #PFUE2022, Pécresse picking up speed. But one disruption occurred on the left, worth highlighting even though it’s already fizzled...A #FrenchFriday 🧵 with @BlochAgneska 1/15
Faced with ever weaker poll numbers, Socialist presidential candidate and mayor of Paris @Anne_Hidalgo staked everything on an announcement on @TF1 that she was in favor of organizing a “popular primary” for the left.… 2/
A hope immediately dashed by other leftist #Presidentielle2022 candidates: Green @yjadot, Communist @Fabien_Roussel, @FranceInsoumise's @JLMelenchon. Only @montebourg is on board, but he would favor a rapprochement of programs first. In a nutshell, a failure. 3/
Hidalgo’s Hail Mary looks like a desperate move from a sinking campaign. Rumors of replacement of the candidate, such as from Justice Min. @ChTaubira, abound. But the @partisocialiste call to unity echoes an old desire to see the left join forces against the Macron challenge. 4/
Divisions among candidates reinforce the structural absence of a left-wing voice. Recently Socialists hit 3%, @yjadot 7%, @JLMelenchon 8%. In theory, they could together reach 18% & be in the run-up for 2nd round, given the threshold is remarkably low.… 5/
But the main challenge to uniting the left is institutional resistance within parties. @partisocialiste elected leaders need a presidential candidate to ensure their party brand still means something come the #Legislatives2022 elections. 6/
#UnionPopulaire @JLMelenchon is resisting too, as he received almost as many votes as @FrancoisFillon in 2017 & believes he can make it to 2nd round in 2022. His break with the Socialists is rooted in the divisive 2005 referendum on the EU constitution: no love lost there. 7/
Greens (#ecologistes) are not on board either, as they've already had their primary, settled differences & believe they hold the key to the future of left-wing politics: climate action. (After all, the Germans did it!) To them, the old left is disconnected with today’s needs. 8/
But at the root of the divisions lies the trauma of 2002, when Jacques Chirac, an incumbent with low approval, faced his Socialist PM Lionel Jospin. Driven by overconfidence, Jospin underperformed and far-right FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the 2nd round instead. 9/
Jean-Marie Le Pen's ability to make it to the 2nd round was blamed on high abstention, but also on the splitting of the left vote among a smattering of candidates, none of whom received more than 6% .… 10/
Since 2002, the “vote utile” concept (strategic vote) has prevailed in presidential elections : the left should erect a wall against the far right by voting for candidates most likely to make it to 2nd round. This benefitted @RoyalSegolene in 2007 & @fhollande even more in 2012.
But in 2017, an atomized political landscape led to confusion and turbulence. Polls indicated that Socialist @benoithamon would not be in a strong position. And so a burst of “vote utile” ended up benefitting partly Mélenchon, but most of all @EmmanuelMacron and @enmarchefr. 12/
Ahead of #Presidentielles2022, confusion looms even larger. With Le Pen, Zemmour & Pécresse all at some point appearing to pose a credible challenge to Macron, how is a "vote utile" to be cast? On the left? Or to M again--even though left-wingers have long lost faith in him? 13/
Advancing a single name would have given the left a chance to move to the 2nd round, ideally facing Macron. But again, without a single candidate, the left is caught between a rock & a hard place. 14/
If @vpecresse, @EmmanuelMacron &either @MLP_officiel/@ZemmourEric hold at ~20% in polls, the urgency of the vote utile will come crashing back. Faced with the risk of a Pecresse vs far right 2nd round, the left will find itself torn once again btwn ideology & conscience [end]

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More from @celiabelin

9 Dec
Je suis fière de participer au lancement de @LeRubicon 👏, nouvelle plateforme francophone de débat sur les affaires internationales et de sécurité, avec un article qui revient sur la crise AUKUS.
En un mot : attention !
En plusieurs mots : lire le papier ou le thread ⬇️
Deux mois après AUKUS - « rupture majeure de confiance » décriée par la France - les relations FR-US semblent réparées. Déclaration jointe lançant des initiatives, visites de haut niveau y compris VP Harris, et récemment excellente coordination transatlantique sur la Russie.
Comment est-on passé aussi vite d’un état de crise FR-US majeure à une relation renouvelée, voire même plus proche qu’avant la crise ? Deux réponses :
1- fruit d’un travail diplomatique approfondi à Washington, mené depuis près de 20 ans suite à la crise FR-US sur l’Irak ;
Read 12 tweets
5 Nov
How to grasp Eric Zemmour’s non-candidacy? This week for #FrenchFriday, @BlochAgneska and I highlight a new report from @j_jaures that analyzes his ideology, image, electorate, and where things might be headed. Some takeaways ⬇️ 1/14…
At the heart of @j_jaures report, the conviction that there is a need to take @ZemmourEric's (almost) candidacy seriously, especially at a time when many in the media, like Trump in his time, tend to take him literally but not seriously. Is Zemmour a bubble close to bursting? 2/
No, bc there is a deep ideology at the heart of his discourse. @MiloMLB and @PotierFred show his intellectual roots, from Drumont to Bainville to Maurras --- and how Zemmour doesn’t believe in politics, only in persecutions. To repress the demographic trends he abhors. 3/
Read 13 tweets
29 Oct
Earlier today, @POTUS met with French Prez @EmmanuelMacron at the French Embassy to Vatican. A highly anticipated meeting, a month and a half after infamous AUKUS spat, producing long joint statement. What’s the status of the FR-US relationship? Here, a thread. #FrenchFriday 1/
After France called AUKUS a “betrayal”&"stab in the back”, US quickly determined there was a need to fix the situation. Couldn’t afford a crisis of such magnitude with #OldestAlly. So Macron and Biden had decided on a process of “in-depth consultations” 2/…
Consultations have been taking place in a sustained way over the past month. Americans have indeed brought out the big guns – a succession of high-level US officials passed through Paris or met bilaterally with French counterparts, and a lot has been discussed. 3/
Read 18 tweets
8 Jul
July 4th has come and gone, and, with it, all remaining illusions that travel will reopen between Europe and the US. As I have shared in this @washingtonpost article, this policy is only causing hardship. 1/
Since I started writing on the issue, European officials, as well as Europeans under travel ban, have repeatedly professed their faith that travel will reopen “soon,” that reciprocity is “around the corner,” that “Americans will realize the policy doesn’t make sense anymore.” 2/
“You’ll see, Joe Biden will announce it before his European tour in June.” He didn’t. “You know, Sec Blinken will address it when he visits Italy for G20.” He hasn’t. “Come on, Biden is just waiting for his own July 4th deadline, and then he will lift the ban”.
He. Did. Not.
Read 22 tweets
7 May
For the past few weeks, French politics have been colored in 50 shades of Right. A year ahead of the foretold presidential duel between Macron and Le Pen, France is already battling against some of the foulest aspects of nationalist politics. #FrenchFriday THREAD 1/
Squeezed between Macron’s LREM and Le Pen’s RN, Les Républicains (LR) are struggling to stake out their territory. With the regional elections approaching in June, negotiations are taking place at the local level to determine if and how to unite against the far right. 2/
LR Renaud Muselier, from the PACA region, negotiated a unity list with LREM, only to be rebuffed by his party and forced to renounce the idea. The pushback could lead LR to continue losing to LREM, although it is unclear which needs the other. 3/…
Read 16 tweets
5 Feb
Yesterday French president Macron participated in an event in honor of the creation of the @AtlanticCouncil new Europe Center. A discussion with @benjaminhaddad packed with elements of Macron's doctrine - and some contrast to Biden's own foreign policy speech on the same day 1/
Macron insisted on the need for a "result-oriented multilateralism". In his view, Western powers have lost ground to China due to their inability to deliver results, including on vaccine. So, to regain credibility, making the multilateral system work is priority 2/
Biden doesn't talk about multilateralism, but about global cooperation to restore U.S. leadership. So the contrast is more a question of degree than nature: for the French, multilateralism should be inclusive to be efficient. The US wants to lead again. 3/
Read 13 tweets

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