Tuesday, April 25, 2017

French Elections: Combined left vote would have won the first round

Sectariansism of lefts defeats Melenchon
By Facts For Working People Admin

In a previous article analyzing the likely results of the first round of the French elections, we correctly explained that it was very positive that the extreme right winger and closet fascist Le Pen did not come first.  We also condemned Socialist Party candidate Hamon and the Socialist Party leadership for not putting their support behind the left wing candidate Melenchon. 

The election turned out as expected. Macron the preferred candidate of the French capitalist class came first with 23.86% of the vote. Le Pen came second with 21.43% of the vote and will face off in the second round.  The Republican Francois Fillon received 19.94% and Melenchon, the far left candidate and ex Trotskyist received 19.2% of the vote.  Hamon and the Socialist Party received 6.35% of the vote.

If the SP had withdrawn their candidate and supported Melenchon he would have been practically assured of winning the first round. This would have been a major victory for the French working class and a defeat for Le Pen and Macron, the candidates of the right. More importantly, it would have energized the left and the workers' movement not only in France but internationally.

It would have been a major victory and we condemn the SP for its sectarianism. But we do not leave it there. This blog and the supporters of Facts For Working People have continually criticized the sectarianism of the self styled revolutionary left groups. Between the two that ran, the Lutte Ouvrier and the Anti Capitalist Party whose candidate is a factory worker, got 1.75% of the vote. This was a pathetic vote but added to the SP vote it would have given Melenchon and the left almost 28% of the vote, a clear victory.  These groups and all like them internationally have to break from their damaging sectarianism.

Even with the Socialist Party’s refusal to support Melenchon and the left, these two sectarian groups should have put their support behind Melenchon. This would have put him close to Le Pen and maybe even made it possible for him to beat her as it would have shown increased unity among the left and would have inspired people who did not vote or who voted for other candidates to vote for him.  Surveys claimed that a significant percentage of voters were undecided and would quite possibly make up their minds on election day.

Most of the blame for Le Pen being in the run off falls on the Socialist Party. But the self styled revolutionary left groups have to also take a share of the blame. Until these groups break from their sectarianism and ultra leftism they continue to play only a damaging role in the struggle of the working class and for socialism.

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