Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hamon Wins!

As expected, Benoît Hamon has won the Socialist primary 58-41. Participation is up from last week, 1.1 million with 60% of precincts reporting.

In short, a decisive victory for les frondeurs, a stinging rebuke for the party of government. Hollande is undoubtedly glad he avoided the thrashing that Valls has taken for him.

So what lies ahead? Corbynisation? Renewal? Fragmentation? Decline into irrelevance? Replacement by a Macronized left? Anything is possible. But the era of Epinay is definitively over.


Anonymous said...

Hamon just now began his victory statement - before Valls had even finished his concession speech. Kicking a dog when he's down will do wonders when trying to unify one's political party.


Bernard said...

Art, check out the latest poll and the date it was done in le figaro. Reports of the death of the PS may be somewhat exagérée. ..

FrédéricLN said...

Now that the incumbents are fired, PS should have 2-3 weeks favorable mood. Now we'll see if Hamon is THAT new, or just a "back to basics" version of old ideas and old machine politics — the mirrored image of Fillon with mirrored fate?

Tim said...

Here is an interesting question. Is there any possibility of some type of Hamon Melenchon pact? Or are Melenchon supporters simply to far out of the mainstream to be wheeled back into the PS. Clearly if there was some type of pact the numbers would start to put Hamon in contention?

Tim said...

Second at least some of Hamon's platform planks aren't quite as left wing as some imagine. Legalization of Marijuana has been adopted by the Macron-like Canadian Liberals(currently the government) and the Canadian Liberals have and continue to toy with Guaranteed Annual Income. In the 2015 CDN election many did not expect the centrist Liberals to swing as far to the left as they did. Perhaps given the Trudeau-Macron similarities something similar might happen in France.

brent said...

In its weirdly kaleidoscopic fashion the French electoral field has apparently reconfigured (once more), this time into 4 nearly equal parts: left, center, right, and extreme right, each with 20-27%. Of those, LePen's 25% seems the most constant, Fillon's 21% or so the most vulnerable, Macron's 20% the most inscrutable and the left's 27-28% a potential winner in both rounds ... except that of course at this moment it is only virtual, split between 3 significant candidates. So what would you do if you were one of those candidates? Hamon's choice is easy: court Mélenchon and Jadot with everything you've got. Jadot's hand has few high cards, and he has already noted that Hamon's program sounds awfully like EELV's.

Mélenchon is of course a different story. With 10+% hardcore supporters and a long and difficult personal history with just about everyone, he is one of the least likely or likable coalition partners out there. And yet ... the math is real. A consolidated left candidacy has every chance of placing second or even first in the 1st round. Both the centrist and right candidates are weak (a rookie and a rué), and the eco-socialist policy convergence of the three leftists is striking, as is their collective unblemished record of scandal-free public service. Mélenchon was apparently coy this evening about Hamon without being dismissive--he has weeks, even months to consummate a deal.

I realize many readers of this blog HATE JLM's personal manner so much that they are constitutionally unable to take him seriously. I would encourage them to take a deep breath and see what happens. The payoff if the improbable were to happen--a run-off between the fascist and the eco-socialist--would in my opinion be epochal.

Art Goldhammer said...

Brent, The problem isn't with the readers of this blog; it's that French voters who don't vote for Mélenchon don't like or trust him. He would have to drop out in favor of Hamon in order for the coalition you propose to work. Any deal to give Mélenchon power after the election would sink Hamon. He is eagerly courting JLM's voters, but JLM's ego will probably keep him in the race. Jadot is a different story. Hamon could deal with him without risk. I think Hamon's biggest potential reserve is with Macron's soft support, especially among the young. If he debates Macron as effectively as he debated Valls, he could force Macron to detail his positions and potentially peel off some support.

And you can't rule out a Macron-Hamon deal either. Remember, Hamon and Montebourg made a deal with Valls in forming the first Valls government. Hamon does not have the visceral hatred of the center-left that Mélenchon does, and he can swing both ways, as it were.

Arun Kapil said...

I can't see any kind of pre-1st round deal between Hamon, Macron and/or JLM. JLM loathes the PS and wants to destroy it; Hamon will certainly not quit the race in favor of one of the two, as it would be the death knell of the PS, not to mention his own political future; and one can hardly imagine Macron doing any such thing. There's nothing in such an act of abnegation for any of the three. And such deals never happen in French presidential elections anyway. It doesn't make sense.


Anonymous said...

I think the French will vote for whichever one of the three has the best shot at making the second round (of the two, because Mélenchon will shoot himself in the foot again, as he did on national TV when attacking Cohn-Bendit, or when attacking a train engineer - his impulsivity will hurt him too much).
At that point, the one who arrived behind will join the one arrived first.