Mélenchon and the uncertain domino effect of the “useful” vote against the far right

Election posters of Christiane Taubira and French presidential candidate LFI Jean-Luc Mélenchon on February 19, 2022 in Paris (AFP / JOEL SAGET)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon has garnered support for a few days pleading to eliminate Marine Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election on Sunday, like Christiane Taubira on Friday, but uncertainty remains about the extent and effectiveness of this vote. useful.

The press release from the former Keeper of the Seals, a candidate for a time, stirred rebellious accounts on social networks, aware that this domino was a strong signal for left-wing voters looking for a compass.

To eliminate the far right, whose coming to power is “plausible” in view of recent polls, it must be done “from the first round”, writes Christiane Taubira. “The left-wing candidate in a position to do so today is Jean-Luc Mélenchon,” she adds about the third in the opinion polls.

This position on the last day of the campaign follows many others among activists, executives and personalities on the left.

Main proposals of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate for the 2022 presidential election ( AFP / )

Main proposals of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate for the 2022 presidential election ( AFP / )

Eric Labbé, 50-year-old press officer, initially thought to vote for the ecologist Yannick Jadot, but will opt for the candidate of La France insoumise, whose “non-aligned” position he does not share internationally. “I’ve been fixated on the useful vote since 2002 (and the elimination of Lionel Jospin in favor of Jean-Marie Le Pen, editor’s note). I did the same thing in 2017”, he confides to the AFP.

He deplores the disunity of the left – “six candidates for 30% it’s still magic” – and notes that Jean-Luc Mélenchon has detached himself through the “wild primary polls”.

For him, the vote of conviction in the first round is outdated: “Before the scheme was clear, we voted Greens, PCF or PS in the first and we voted PS in the second round. But now, there are three blocks, there is no has more (automatically) left in the second round”.

– Siphon –

Similar positions on the part of activists engaged in parties have stirred their staffs. Thus Thursday, the dozens of members of Generations who participated in a call to vote Mélenchon, on Mediapart, were suspended by the direction of the movement founded by Benoît Hamon. A “bureaucratic” decision against “history”, denounced Roberto Romero, one of the signatories of the platform and figure of Generations.

EELV activists have also claimed on social networks to have been suspended.

On the personalities side, the writer Pierre Lemaître, among others, tweeted: “To beat the far right, I prefer to vote Mélenchon in the 1st round than to vote Macron in the 2nd”.

Often, the argument of the “barrier to the far right” rubs shoulders with others. These calls underline that a qualification of a left-wing candidate would make it possible to address the themes dear to this political family, and often put in the background of the public debate: sharing of wealth, ecology, public freedoms…

Even among socialist sympathizers, “there is this temptation”, slips a part of the campaign of Anne Hidalgo, in difficulty around 2%.

French presidential candidate LFI Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the show "10 minutes to convince" on a set of the TF1 channel in Boulogne-Billancourt, west of Paris, on April 7, 2022 ( AFP / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN )

LFI candidate for the French presidential election Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the program “10 minutes to convince” on a set of the TF1 channel in Boulogne-Billancourt, west of Paris, on April 7, 2022 (AFP / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN )

Jean-Luc Mélenchon “did exactly what he did in 2017, he siphoned off left-wing voters,” says political scientist Rémi Lefebvre, a specialist in this part of the political spectrum, for AFP. He points out that “the famous useful vote has happened again, but for the moment in smaller proportions than in 2017”.

The argument of Mr. Mélenchon’s competitors, which seems partly to bear on their supporters, is that Marine Le Pen is rising as quickly as him in the polls, and ahead of him by several points. Under these conditions, the qualification of the second is improbable, and so you might as well vote for “his convictions”.

“Since the call for + useful vote +, the gap between second and third place has never been so high”, tackles EELV MEP David Cormand, support of Yannick Jadot, on Twitter, who adds: “The he injunction to tactical voting unites and strengthens the far right. (…) Vote as you want.”

The communist candidate Fabien Roussel is particularly threatened by the useful vote of his militants, because his party was allied with Mr. Mélenchon in 2012 and 2017. This did not prevent the communist deputy Elsa Faucillon from “enraging” when she saw “left-wing candidates do everything so that a left-wing candidate is not in the second round, while the far right is at the gates”.

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Mélenchon and the uncertain domino effect of the “useful” vote against the far right

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