In the wake of President Emmanuel Macron's late-night announcement of a snap election, leaders and key figures from France's left-wing parties have rallied for a "Front populaire," EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

News Vote 24

French Left calls for unity ahead of snap elections


In the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron’s late-night announcement of a snap election, leaders and key figures from France’s left-wing parties have rallied for a unified “Front populaire” to take on the hard-right.

Manuel Bompard, the national co-ordinator of the French hard-left party La France Insoumise, has called for a meeting of the left-wing political groups on June 10, urging “unity”.

“Today, the situation requires working for unity and clarity to defeat the National Rally [RN] and govern the country,” Bompard stated.

François Ruffin, a prominent figure within La France Insoumise, also called for the union of the Left.

“We have an arsonist at the Head of the State,” he claimed on June 9.

“Faced with the [RN], only the Left remains. I have come to say: there’s no fatality. The Left, united under the banner of the Popular Front, can win.”

Ruffin’s use of “popular front” is a reference to the well-known alliance of French left-wing movements that won the country’s 1936 general elections.

Olivier Faure, the President of the Socialist Party, echoed this desire for a popular front-style alliance, describing it as way of taking on Le Pen.

“I’m calling for the formation of a popular front against the extreme Right, which will remove the risk [of the RN coming to power] and ensure that we can have a left-wing government in July,” he said.

“We have an extreme Right that is no longer on the doorstep of power but has got its foot in the door. We need a broad-based rally on the Left, and we need everyone who shares our vision of the world to join us.”

The Green leader for the European Parliament elections, Marie Toussaint, also agreed with the call for unity, accusing Macron of enabling the hard-right.

“After having been a stepping stone for the National Rally, Macron continues his headlong rush and dissolves the National Assembly.

“Let’s be responsible, on June 30 and July 7 [the two rounds of elections]: the Left and the ecologists must unite.”

Despite these calls for unity, cohesion remains uncertain.

The French Left previously united under NUPES (the New Popular and Ecological Union) for the last legislative elections in 2022, but the coalition disintegrated due to internal disputes.

In late 2023, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the de facto leader of La France Insoumise, declared the NUPES coalition “dead”.

On June 9, the Socialist Party polled at 13.8 per cent, just behind Macron’s Renaissance at 14.6 per cent. National Rally garnered more than 30 per cent of the vote, while La France Insoumise polled at 9.9 per cent.