last cartridge for soldier Mélenchon

For the Spanish online information site The jump, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is well placed to win the battle in the first round of the presidential election in April 2022. But he shoots his last bullet.

The Germans of Die Linke almost stayed out of the Bundestag in September. In Spain, Unidas Podemos is trying to catch up with the figure of Yolanda Díaz. In Greece, Syriza is relegated to the opposition, while in the United Kingdom, Corbynism has been defended from the Socialist General Staff. In other words, the populist left movements (or the alternative left) which have appeared in Europe over the past ten years are on the decline. Are we seeing the same trend in France?

At first glance, the situation of the left* would justify a fit of tears worthy of a Latin American telenovela. According to some polls, none of the left-wing candidates exceeds 10% for the 2022 presidential election. But these gloomy prospects must be qualified. With less than four months of the April 10 consultation, we cannot exclude the presence in the second round of a candidate to the left of the “socialists”.

Narrow range

Despite the wear and tear of the character, the candidate of rebellious France (LFI), Jean-Luc Mélenchon (republican and social-environmentalist), stands firm: he is best placed on the themes of equality and social justice, even s ‘it is still far from the 19% it obtained five years ago.

I think Mélenchon has a real chance of being present in the second round, believes political scientist Manuel Cervera-Marzal, professor at the University of Liège. There will be five candidates who will compete for access to the second round, President Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour on the far right, Valérie Pécresse on the right, and the leader of rebellious France [LFI, alliée à Podemos]. However, the threshold to access the second round will be within a narrow range, between 15 % and 17 %.”

The analysis of this specialist in left-wing populism goes against the defeatism that is rampant in the French progressive camp. Mélenchon, 70 years old, a veteran of politics, is running for the third and last time in a presidential election. And, underlines Manuel Cervera-Marzal, author of the book Left-wing populism :

It is in a positive dynamic, with an upward curve in the polls. ”

Useful vote

Even if the situation of Insubordinate France is not glowing either, its candidate is the only one in the progressive camp to have chances [d’être présent au second tour]. After a lackluster campaign, socialist Anne Hidalgo fell below 5% of voting intentions. The ecologist Yannick Jadot apparently takes the same path, not to mention that he is accused of dividing the left.

Mélenchon’s team hopes that the weakness of their opponents will trigger a useful vote, as already happened in 2017. As political scientist Christophe Bouillaud notes:

Mélenchon’s chances will depend on whether he is seen by voters as the only left-wing candidate with a chance of making it to the second round..”

Bookstore success

The leader of the Insoumis kicked off his campaign on December 5 with a large meeting of 5,000 people in Paris. He is preparing another for January 16, in Nantes. Despite the appearance of the omicron variant – pre-election meetings are not affected by the new restrictions – LFI is planning a campaign with large public gatherings, which looks like a 2017 reissue.

At the beginning of November, he published in bookstores his electoral program, entitled The Common Future. A book which since then has become one of the best sellers in the essays and documents category, according to the Datalib portal.

The measures proposed in The Common Future and


Enric Bonet Torra

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