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France

Regionals: Look out! Danger! The world of labour must take back the initiative

Monday 14 December 2015, by NPA

This statements was issued by the NPA on the evening of Sunday 13th Deecember after the second round of the French regional elections. Depsite having topped the polls in six regions out of thirteen in the first round the far-right party of Marine Le Pen finally won none, the right wing Les Républicains (The Republicans) party of Nicolas Sarkozy won 7 while the Socialist Party (PS) won 5. Corsica was won by a bloc of nationalist parties.

Though abstention is down compared to last week, only slightly over half the electorate voted on Sunday 13 December. This shows once again a political system running out of steam.

In the end, the National Front did not win a region, but this is only a relative failure: the FN has won this election by topping the poll in the first round and winning more than 350 regional councillors in the second round. It even got a substantial 40% in three regions in the second round. What is more, through this campaign, the FN has marked a large section of the political class with its ideas, which also explains the relative failure of Sarkozy, unable to find a space between the neoliberal and security policy of the government on the one hand and the extreme right on the other. The PS has held on but cannot hide the rejection of its governmental policy, particularly in Île-de-France [Paris region].

High abstention rate, dangerous upsurge of the FN, deep crises in the large institutional parties ... These regional elections are thus a new proof of a deep political crisis.

The Republicans and the PS claim to have stopped the growth of the FN but it is the 30-year anti-social policies of different governments that have led to its current score. To counter the National Front, there is no other road than the mobilization of the whole social and political left against it.

These elections have shown that there is no political representation for the exploited. For the world of labour, the most urgent task is to build the mobilizations, return to the path of struggle: for lifting the state of emergency, which has had the practical effect of silencing the social movement around COP21, Air France, against the NDDL airport, for the defence of migrants, etc. More than that, the building of an anti-capitalist political alternative, a new emancipatory project, remains more relevant than ever.

Montreuil 13 December 2015