France

Just like in round one, the results of the second round of the French legislative election deviated greatly from the “projections” published by the pollsters ahead of the ballot. None had anticipated such a bad result for ‘moderate’ President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM), which now lacks the seats required for an absolute majority by a margin of 43. Equally, none had anticipated the result of the right-wing National Rally (RN), which is entering the National Assembly with 89 seats. These two facts are linked: the LREM candidates lost many more contested seats than expected to RN. But the left-wing New Ecologic and Social People's Union (NUPES) also lost more than

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The first round of the legislative elections was marked by record high abstention: 52.5%, compared to 51.3% in 2017 and 42.8% in 2012. Such a high level of abstention makes it the most significant outcome of the result.

The NUPES (New Ecological and Social Popular Union) list, led by La France Insoumise (FI), is seen by left-wing workers and youth as the best vehicle to strike blows against the right in June’s legislative elections. The French Marxists critically support voting for NUPES candidates. But we must say that this alliance with discredited, right-wing reformist parties risks demobilising FI’s support base, and will undermine their ability to carry out social reforms in government, in the event of an NUPES majority.

Quel spectacle! What a show we had yesterday as the exit polls indicated that Macron had won the presidential elections. He walked through the streets of Paris hand in hand with his wife, and accompanied by a group of young people, apparently an indication of the generations that will support him in the future. And in his speech, he announced that he was no longer “le candidat” but the “President of all the French”. How hollow all this must sound to the huge majority of French workers and youth who did not vote for him and hate him with a passion.

The re-election of Emmanuel Macron marks a new stage in the crisis of French capitalism. In the second round, taking into account abstentions and blank or invalid ballots, the ‘Jupitarian President’ won the votes of only 38.5 percent of registered voters. That's 5 percent and 2 million fewer votes than in 2017. Moreover, almost half of his 18.8 million voters have absolutely no confidence in him. All in all, Macron won amidst a sea of bitterness, mistrust and hatred. It is these conditions of social tension and class hatred that give rise to revolutions.

The final round of the French presidential elections will be held on Sunday 24 April. The French electorate will be called upon to chose between Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen – two sides of the same pro-boss, viciously anti-worker and reactionary capitalist coin! While the so-called leaders of the French left and trade union bureaucrats have capitulated to bourgeois pressure, calling for workers and youth to form a ‘Republican Front’ behind Macron to beat Le Pen, we say: neither one, nor the other!

The second round of the French presidential elections will take place on 24 April. All the parties of the left and trade union leaders are pressuring their supporters to get behind a ‘Republican Front’ to beat Marine Le Pen who they believe is a fascist – by voting for Macron’s government of the rich. This rotten class collaboration is already being rejected by thousands of young people, who have occupied their universities and demonstrated with the slogan: neither Macron, nor Le Pen!

The first round of the French presidential elections represented a watershed moment in the political situation. Above all, we saw a tremendous rejection of the establishment. The traditional parties were decimated, and so-called ‘extremist’ candidates received over 50 percent of the vote. Left-winger Jean-Luc Mélenchon was denied a place in the final round by barely one percentage point, thanks largely to the wrecking behaviour of other left parties. The ‘centrist’ incumbent Emmanuel Macron now faces a knife-edge race in round two against Marine Le Pen of National Rally (RN).

The first round of the French presidential election has turned out as Macron had hoped, and as he had prepared for a long time. In 2017, Macron won 66% of the vote against Le Pen in the second round. Millions of voters who had voted for Mélenchon or Hamon at that time in the first round, mobilised to “block the far right” in the second round. For five years, the Head of State has been aiming for the repetition of this scenario.

Three days before the first round of the presidential election in France, one thing is for certain: Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the only left-wing candidate with any hope of reaching the second round. In a few weeks, he went from 10 percent to 16 percent in the polls. However, the same polls put Marine Le Pen in second place behind Macron, with a lead over Mélenchon that varies from between four to six points. What is the position of the Marxists?

In the April 2017 French presidential election, Révolution, the French section of the International Marxist Tendency, critically supported the candidacy of Jean-Luc Mélenchon of France Insoumise (FI). Five years later, the French Marxists will again support FI in the upcoming elections (which begin on 10 April), despite maintaining their criticisms of its and Mélenchon’s limitations. In this article (written at the beginning of the year), they explain their position.

The first round of the French presidential elections will take place on 10 April. We know who most of the candidates will be, but it is impossible to predict which of them will reach the second round.

The tragic drowning of 27 migrants in the English Channel has brought home the misery and devastation facing refugees worldwide. Capitalism is horror without end. Only socialist revolution can bring down the borders and avert this catastrophe.

A strike has been raging for a fortnight in Guadeloupe, triggered by the imposition of compulsory vaccinations. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back following a long period of attacks. Similar explosions are taking place throughout French imperialism’s overseas territories.

The recent agreement between Australia, the UK and the US has caused a crisis in international relations. With France temporarily recalling its ambassador from Washington and China issuing a protest, the new agreement has upset feelings across the board. This deal, however, merely constituted one more step in a wider realignment among the imperialist powers.

The first round of the French regional elections saw the highest abstention rate in the history of the Fifth Republic, by far, at 66.7 percent. Among those under 35, abstention was around 84 percent. It was of the same order in the poorest and most oppressed layers of the population. This is the main takeaway from the first round. It is an expression of the regime crisis of French capitalism, though far from the only one. 

On 30 January, big demonstrations against the Global Security Bill, the so-called Separatism Bill and for the reopening of cultural institutions took place in Paris, and all over France. These demonstrations were led by thousands of youth, who are increasingly radicalised given the seemingly endless pandemic (which means campuses are closed), and are determined to oppose the rotten Macron government.

The images of the beating of Michel Zecler (a black music producer) on 21 November and the huge success of the “freedom marches” the following Saturday have exposed once again the thoroughly reactionary, racist nature of the police, and accentuated the French government crisis.

This statement by our French comrades condemns the brutal assassination of a teacher in the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine suburb of Paris by an Islamic fundamentalist. We reject hypocritical attempts by the right wing in France to exploit this tragedy as part of a propaganda war against Muslims. Imperialism is responsible for creating the poisoned soil in which fundamentalism flourishes. 

Macron’s latest speech has confirmed what we already knew: that his priority is not to save as many human lives as possible, but to safeguard the profits of the capitalists. The measures he announced during his speech on Monday are motivated solely by the defence of the material interests of the ruling class. The MEDEF (the bosses’ organisation) was surely satisfied.