left-wing deputies and activists, disappointed by the separate European lists, seek to preserve the union

Raphaël Glucksman for the socialists, Marie Toussaint for the ecologists, Manon Aubry for the rebels, Léon Deffontaines for the communists: four left-wing lists are preparing to campaign for the Europeans. On the ground, certain Nupe deputies and activists want to believe in unity.


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In Beauvais, Nupes activists continue negotiations before campaigning separately for the European elections, February 2024. (VICTORIA KOUSSA / FRANCEINFO)

Bringing unity to life on the left despite divisions. In view of the 2027 presidential election, activists and elected officials are holding what remains of the Nupes at arm’s length, to try to revive it, to keep it alive despite the separate European lists.

In Beauvais, in Oise, inseparable activists will have to campaign separately until June. They are already carrying each other. In the middle of towing their local fight against the doubling of air traffic, one of them, an environmentalist, taunts the others by putting the portrait of his candidate for the European elections under their noses: “There, I have my Europe Ecologie-Les Verts side, it’s Marie Toussaint’s leaflet that I will distribute very soon.”

“We, on the ground, are united”

The activists laugh to hide the bitterness of having to campaign separately, in the coming months, Roxane Lundy is elected Generations: “I find that there is a form of disconnection between our Parisian staffs who have chosen to go their separate ways. While we, on the ground, are united, we fight battles together.” She and her rebellious comrade, José Quillet, are afraid that separate lists will break the dynamic created by Nupes and demoralize voters. “It is troubling, laments José Quillet. They don’t understand why people signed a Nupes agreement and a few months after this agreement…”

“It’s like putting on a football shirt to play a match and then at half-time you change your shirt because you’re not happy.”

José Quillet, LFI activist

at franceinfo

It is also with a football metaphor that the ecologist Bruno Clinckemaillie puts it into perspective: “There will be a sort of half-time, rest time, where we will all devote ourselves to helping our candidate win for the European elections. And then afterwards, we will have the pleasure of getting together for the municipal elections. We sometimes have , in football teams, players who play to help their club win. In this case, we play to make Beauvais win at the heart, at the local level. And afterward, each player will return to his country and will also try to win another competition. One does not prevent the other.”

One thing is certain for the group’s socialist activist, Maxime Loisel: here, in Beauvais, the non-aggression pact will be respected. “There will be some arguing, but there won’t be a fight, that’s for sure! I’m willing to go towing for Glucksman in the morning, at lunchtime we’ll eat together and then in the afternoon we’ll tow for municipal elections, assures Maxime Loisel. There is no problem”.

“We wouldn’t be as many if we hadn’t been Nupes”

Unionist deputies try to keep the union alive. This involves meetings, like in this Parisian theater, where the ecologist Julien Bayou invites his allies from the Assembly for a debate on the Sixth Republic: “For me we have to be able to say ‘Make your lists, go on an adventure’, as Blum and we said, ‘we’re keeping the old house of unity’. There is a hope that carries us. We don’t have no right to be fooled by strategies that lead us into a wall.”

For him, it is necessary to maintain the links. As with the socialist Boris Vallaud, who has just arrived: “There are some with whom it is more complicated. There are executives who do not suit us, or no longer, or who we want to develop. And then, there are people who get along well too” .

Far from the clashes between party leaders, for the ecologist Sébastien Peytavie, we must not forget this logo on the campaign leaflets: “We were elected like that and I think we realized it. We wouldn’t be as many if we hadn’t been Nupes.” Together on stage, to talk about a subject, also a way of showing what a future alliance would look like, without Jean-Luc Mélenchon who is fracturing the left-wing electorate, especially since the Hamas attacks.

“Starting with changing the Constitution is no small matter. The entire society will have to be mobilized, we will have to come together more and more, we will have to expand the political space that we represent.”

Raquel Garrido, LFI deputy for Seine-Saint-Denis

at franceinfo

But unity remains fragile, threatened in the Assembly and now by the Europeans. The communist Elsa Faucillon is aware of this: “We must be able to show, for all those who aspire to this unity, that it is possible for Europeans and that if it is not, it is possible afterwards. Even if it will be more difficult. We must be lucid, our score will necessarily be lower for each of the lists”. VSUnionists will increase these moments together next month, and are preparing to accelerate after the European elections, with a common proposal which still remains secret.

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