Workers’ Communist Party of France: The Main Lessons We Draw from the European Elections

Image result for PCOF franceTranslated by

The stakes at the elections revolved around who, Macron’s party – LRM La République en marche (The Republic on the Move) allied with MoDem (Democratic Movement), or the Rassemblement National [RN – National Rally] of Marine Le Pen, would be in the lead after the first round. The “European” stakes were put at the service of this confrontation. The participation rate of 50.7% has certainly increased (7 points more compared to the record of abstentions in 2014), but this is primarily related to the national issue, and does not reflect any renewed membership in the popular strata of European construction, for the EU and its parliament and its plethora of deputies. It is in the popular circles that the abstention rate is strongest.

This “duel,” wanted by the two protagonists, was largely orchestrated by Macron. From this point of view, he suffered a failure: not only is his list not in the lead, but his score, compared to that of the first round of presidential elections, did not increase. He is more and more a right-wing candidate, who has won a part of the right-wing electoral base that does not recognize itself in the line of Wauquiez (head of The Republicans – translator’s note). The collapse of the LR (The Republicans) list, led by the very right-wing Bellamy (who increased his reactionary statements in the last days of the campaign) testifies.

The RN list got 23.3% of the votes, which is obviously worrying. It garners a lot of voices among the sectors that are close to the yellow vests. It is in these areas and regions that the RN gets its highest numbers and it is also where the electoral mobilization has been stronger.

It also attracted the votes all the tendencies of the extreme right and reaction that could, through several candidates, during this campaign, show their hatred of migrants, of Muslims, etc. These candidates served as spokespersons of positions that Marine Le Pen herself preferred not to put forward.

The political current that can speak of victory is undoubtedly the EELV (Europe Ecology – The Greens), which achieved a high vote. The protest movement of some of the youth, who were still mobilized in “climate” marches the day before the elections, has in many EU countries contributed to the high votes of the ecology parties that were running. If all the parties tried to capture the votes of this mass movement, by “greening” their program, it is the parties or movements that mobilize mainly and for a long time on these questions which appeared the most legitimate to bring this question, especially at the European level. Macron tried in a rough way to “win votes of the EELV,” announcing on the eve of the elections pseudo-measures for the preservation of the environment: he failed, so great is the distance between some of his words and the reality of his policy, serving the monopolies of agribusiness, pharmacy chemistry, not to mention nuclear power.

The Socialist Party “kept itself afloat” by exceeding the 5% mark that allowed it to have seats in the European Parliament. Its main campaign argument was: do not let us be left out of the [European Parliament in] Strasbourg. They want people to forget the years in which it supported the European Socialist Group (PSE) and its policy of alliance with the right of the EPP (European People’s Party) to co-manage the European authorities, at the service of the interests of the monopolies. It is not with some Members of the European Parliament that it will get out of its increasing marginality.

France Insoumise (France Unbowed) led an active campaign to achieve a double-digit vote, like the result of J.L. Mélenchon in the first round of presidential elections. Very active in support for the yellow vests, it tried to the end to present itself as the only “useful” vote, by claiming the leadership of the left opposition pole to Macron. The vote achieved, while not negligible, did not allow the FI to claim this leadership.

We are not happy to see the PCF miss the 3% mark that would have allowed, at least, the reimbursement of its campaign expenses. That said, its campaign for “another Europe” is neither clear nor credible in popular circles. This is also true for other forces that cling to this idea.

In conclusion

The campaign was dominated by distorted and divisive themes, such as “nationalism against progressivity,” giving rise to a reactionary escalation against immigration, for more “Security,” more “control,” etc.

It served Macron to continue to reduce the entire political debate to a clash between his current and the RN. The majority of workers, working people, women, young people, etc. do not identify themselves themselves in this choice. If the movement to the right of political forces, in their speeches and positions, is a reality, if the level of electoral influence of the RN and company is worrying, we are in opposition to all the theses that want to convince us that reaction would be hegemonic in working-class and popular circles: if more than 5 million votes were won by the RN, it also means that the vast majority did not make this choice.

The workers’ and people’s interests, the first victims of the neoliberal governments and the EU, were absent from this campaign. They will not be represented in the European Parliament.

Paris, May 27, 2019

Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Workers of France

Some Figures:

Votes: 47,344,857

Abstentions: 49.88%

RN 5,281,734 23.3% 23 elected
LRM-Modem 5,076,464 22.4 23
EELV 3,052,533 13.5 13
LR 1,920,601 8.5 8
FI 1,428,480 6.3 6
PS 1,402,129 6.2 6
Hamon 741,252 Not elected but reimbursed for campaign costs
PCF 564,741 Not reimbursed for campaign costs

The European elections of 2014 were organized in 7 large regions. The abstention rate was 57.5%

Categories: France, International

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