France: Socialist Party make gains, but the Front National too

Submitted by Matthew on 13 June, 2012 - 7:39

After the French legislative elections (second round on June 17) it looks as though President François Hollande’s centre-left Parti Socialiste (PS) will control the National Assembly.

Turn-out has been low, and the far left did badly in the election. The two largest revolutionary groups, the New Anticapitalist Party and Lutte Ouvrière, got around 1% each.

The “Left Front”, a left-reformist lash-up of the Left Party (a leftwing split from the PS led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon) and the French Communist Party, got 7%.

This indicates that the great hope of the CP — of being able to participate in a ruling coalition and having a minister in a PS-dominated cabinet — may come to nothing.

The other big success in the first round belonged to the far right.

The Front National (FN) dominated the Presidential race by forcing both Sarkozy and Hollande to play for racist votes by making concessions to the FN’s xenophobic campaigns on immigrant rights and scaremongering about halal meat.

In the legislative elections they gained 13%.

In the northern town of Hénin-Beaumont, Jean-Luc Mélenchon challenged Marine Le Pen (leader of the FN) but did poorly (only 12%).

Le Pen gained 42% of the vote and will now face the PS candidate, Philippe Kemel, in the second round.

The NPA said: “The results for the FN are the fruit of 30 years of anti-social rightwing politics from the right wing as well as from the institutional left.”

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