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The French Socialist Party in the 2019 European elections

Abstract : The French Socialist Party (PS) experienced its worst European Parliamentary election performance ever in May 2019, after a calamitous decline from its position as presidential party in early 2017. This collapse was rooted in programmatic failure, born partly of the party’s shift to the ideological centre which provoked tensions between its social liberal and radical wings. However, this chapter argues that, within the European arena, the PS has also struggled because of its historical position as a supporter of the European social project, and its consequent inability to shed this image in order to proffer a radical vision of reform that can compete with newer, less institutionalised competitors such as La France Insoumise (LFI) or the Rassemblement National (RN). In a domestic context of leadership failure and organizational decline, the legacy of Mitterrand’s ‘party of Epinay’ has provided no foothold for programmatic renewal at the European, any more than the domestic, level. This chapter examines the effects of this on party cohesion on Europe, its 2019 campaign programme, and its lack of distinctive political offer to voters equally open to either the radical left LFI or centrist LREM.
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Contributor : Gilles Ivaldi <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 13, 2020 - 12:59:56 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 5:27:13 PM




Jocelyn Evans, Gilles Ivaldi. The French Socialist Party in the 2019 European elections. James L. Newell. Europe and the Left. Resisting the Populist Tide, Palgrave Macmillan; Springer International Publishing, pp.145-165, 2020, 978-3-030-54540-6. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-54541-3⟩. ⟨halshs-03003729⟩



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