France 2022: Assessing the honeymoon election and towards a model of the impact of election timing on the president’s party’s seats

Was the French 2022 honeymoon election one that defies the usual impact of such election timing? Not to offer a spoiler, but the answer is yes and no.

Back around the time of the presidential runoff, I restated what I often say about elections for assembly held shortly after a presidential election: they are not an opportunity for the voters to “check” the president they have just chosen; presidential and semi-presidential systems just do not work that way. Well, usually. It seems hard to escape the notion that voters did just that–by holding Emmanuel Macron’s allies in Ensemble to less than a majority of seats, and by delivering bigger than expected seat totals to the Mélenchon-led united left (Nupes) and even to Le Pen’s National Rally (RN).

There will not be cohabitation, which was what I really meant in the French context when saying that honeymoon elections were not an opportunity to check the president. The results have not offered up any conceivable assembly majority that would impose its own choice for premier on Macron. I was also generally careful to say that I thought Macron’s allies would win a majority of seats, or close to it. They are relatively close, but considerably farther away that I expected, on about 42%. So, how does this outcome compare to honeymoon elections generally?

I have prepared an updated version of a graph I have shared before. An earlier version appears in Votes from Seats, as Figure 12.2. The x-axis is elapsed time, E, defined as the share of the period between presidential elections at which the assembly election occurs. The y-axis is the presidential seat ratio, RP, calculated by dividing the vote share of the party (or pre-electoral alliance) supporting the president by the president’s own vote share in the first or sole round. The diagonal line is a regression best fit on the nonconcurrent elections (those with E>0), and is RP=1.2–0.7E.

I added the France 2022 data point and label a little larger than the others, to call attention to it. The most notable thing is that this is the only case of a really extreme honeymoon–defined loosely as those with E<.05 but E>0–to have a value of RP<1.00. So in that sense, it is a poor performance. There are other honeymoons for which E≤0.1 that are below RP=1.00, including Chile 1965 and Poland 2001. In the Chilean case, the result obtains simply because the right did not present its own presidential candidate, but ran separately in the congressional election. Although this post is focused on honeymoon and other nonconcurrent elections, I also added labels to the two cases of concurrent elections (E=0) that have unusually low presidential vote ratios. Note that on average, RP in concurrent elections tends to be a bit below 1.00, as a combination of strategic voting and small-party abstention from the presidential contest leads assembly voting to be more fragmented than presidential voting, hence lowering RP. However, in very early term elections, the president’s party/alliance almost always gains. So France 2022 is unusual, but not a massive outlier. In fact, in terms of distance from the regression line, it is about equivalent to France 1997 or El Salvador 2006 (labelled).

We see that the 2022 election also features the lowest RP of any of France’s six honeymoon elections to date. The 2002 election (Chirac) produced an especially huge boost, whereas the 2017 election, when Macron had just been elected the first time, is almost on the regression line. (The regression does not include elections after 2015 because the dataset was collected around then; I added these more recent ones to the graph directly.) I also want to call attention to Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s 2019 honeymoon result in Ukraine for Servants of the People, as it is also among the most extreme honeymoon vote surges recorded anywhere as expected, perhaps aided by how uninstitutionalized that country’s party system has been. (If I wanted to be provocative, I’d say that factor also has been present in France, given frequent realignments on the right, the emergence of Macron, etc.)

(As an aside, I was somewhat surprised that an outlier, the one case of E>0.6 to have RP>1 is the French late-midterm election of 1986. This is remembered as the election that produced the first cohabitation of the French Fifth Republic. But the vote share of the Socialists was still considerably higher than Mitterrand’s own vote share in the presidential first round of 1981, when the Communists had presented their own candidate.1)

So much for the votes. I was wondering what happens if we look at seats? Strangely I had never done this before (at least with this dataset). This graph has as its y-axis the seat share of the president’s party (or alliance) divided by the president’s own first or sole-round votes, which I will call RPs. The x-axis is the same. In addition to plotting a best fit line, the diagonal, I also added the 95% confidence intervals from the regression estimates to this graph. There is also a lowess (local regression) plotted as the very thin grey line. Note how flat it is for a long portion of the term, a fact related to a point I will come to at the end (and also suggesting a more complex than linear fit may be more accurate, but I want to keep it simple for now).

The regression line here is very close to RPs=1.5–E, which is a wonderfully elegant formula! It says that at a midterm election, a president’s party’s seat share would be, all else equal, the same as his or her own vote share half a term earlier. At a truly extreme honeymoon election–imagine one held the day after the president was elected, but with the result known–the seat share would be about 1.5 times the president’s vote share. At an extreme counter-honeymoon it would drop to around 0.5. So where did Macron’s Ensemble come out in the election just concluded? His RPs=1.52! So the party actually did about what the average trend says to expect. It was his 2017 surge that was higher than we perhaps should have expected (although, again, not as high as Chirac’s in 2002).

The result in the second figure is obviously holding constant the electoral system, so it should be taken with a grain of salt, given the importance of variation in electoral systems in shaping the size of the largest party (which is usually the president’s party, at least until we get to midterms and beyond).

What I find particularly elegant about the equation is its suggestion that midterm elections are no-effect elections, in terms of seat share for the president’s party. This was presumably what major party leaders were going for in the Dominican Republic when they shifted to the world’s only ever case (to my knowledge) of an all-midterm cycle. Both president and congress were elected to four-year terms, each at the halfway point of the other. (Actual outcomes during were not always no-effect, though on average they were close2; they have since changed back to their former concurrent elections.) This may seem a surprise to readers who know the American system and its infamous midterm decline, but actually the midterm-election median in the US is 0.969. In an almost pure two-party system, anything below 1.00 might look bad, and be both politically consequential and also somewhat over-interpreted. But 0.969 is not really that much below 1.00! Okay I am cheating just a little by reporting the median. The mean is 0.943; it is brought down by a few major “shellackings” like 2010 (0.891), although 1990 was worse (0.719, in this case because G.H.W. Bush had won such a big landslide of his own).3

In concurrent elections, the regression suggests also that on average, RPs is around 1.00. For the US, the median is 0.979, and the mean is 1.009. Note how it is higher than the midterm average, but perhaps not as much as one might expect.4

At this point, both these equations are just empirical regression best fits, not logical models. There is logic behind the general effects of electoral cycles on a presidential party’s performance, but not a logical basis for the specific parameters observed. I would very much like to have such a logical basis, but I have not hit upon it. Yet.

(Considerably nerdier and some rather half-baked stuff the rest of the way.) Such a logical model may be closer now that there is a simple and elegant empirical connection between presidential votes and seats. Seat shares are more directly connected to parameters of the electoral system than votes shares are–even vote shares for assembly parties, but vote shares for presidential candidates are a good deal more remote from the assembly electoral system. Nonetheless, in Votes from Seats we do derive a predictive formula for the effective number of presidential candidates, based on the assembly’s seat product. A regression reported in the book confirms its plausibility, but with rather low R2. From that formula one could get an expected relationship for the leading presidential candidate’s vote total, vp. It would be vp = 2–3/8[(MS)1/4 +1]–1/4. We already have, for the seat share of the largest party, s1=(MS)–1/8. It so happens that these return the same value at around MS=175. Expectations of vp<s1 or s1<vp would then depend on whether MS (mean district magnitude times assembly size) is higher or lower than 175; for most presidential systems it is a good deal higher (the median in this sample of elections, including semi-presidential, is 480). Tying this observation to the one about midterm elections (E=0.5) yielding actual (not predicted) sp=vp and accepting for simplification that the president’s party seat share (sp) is also the largest party seat share, at least in elections that are not after the midterm, might be a path towards a model. But that may take a while yet. Below I will copy a table of what the formulas for vp and s1 yield at various values of seat product, MS, for simple systems. These values of s1 are without regard to elapsed time when the assembly election takes place.

Table of expected values of presidential vote shares (pv) and largest assembly party seat share (s1)

MSpvs1ratio_s1_pv
10.651.001.54
100.600.751.26
250.570.671.16
500.560.611.10
1000.540.561.04
1500.530.531.01
1750.520.521.00
2000.520.520.99
2250.520.510.98
2560.510.500.97
3000.510.490.96
5000.500.460.92
10000.480.420.88
100000.420.320.75
250000.400.280.70
500000.390.260.67
1000000.370.240.64
2000000.350.220.61
Note how we would expect president’s parties to have a seat share greater than the president’s own vote share at low MS due to system disproportionality, but higher as MS increases beyond 175, presumably because of strategic behavior being different around the majoritarian presidential election and the more permissive assembly electoral system. The smallest MS observed in this dataset for a (semi-)presidential system is 124 (Sierra Leone, 2002, 2007). The largest is 202,500 (Ukraine, 2006, 2007). For nonconcurrent elections, the minimum MS is 240 (Chile, 1997, 2001).

Footnotes

  1. Also, Mitterand himself had finished second in the first round, with 25.9% of the votes (the incumbent, Giscard, had 28.3%). The Communist candidate had 15.4%. In the 1986 election, Socialists won 31% of the votes, for RP=1.2. (I am not counting the Communists as part of Mitterrand’s alliance by then, as he had fired the Communist ministers that were in his initial cabinet.)
  2. The values for RPs in these Dominican elections were: 0.587 in 1998, 0.975 in 2002, 0.945 in 2006, and 1.067 in 2010. So other than that first run, if the no-effect was what they wanted, they basically got it.
  3. [Added, 21 June.] I somehow forgot that my first publication on this topic, in the APSR in 1995, also used seats as its outcome of interest–but it was change in seat percentage for the president’s party from the prior assembly election (with president’s vote share as a control). Looking back on that pub, I see that my regression there would agree with my updated analysis here in suggesting that midterm elections, all else constant, are no-effect elections. The regression line clearly passes very near the change=0, E=0.5 point in the article’s Figure 1. And, yes, in that article I commented on this as a “particularly striking feature” (p. 332).
  4. The way I set up the regression, its constant term would be the RPs when E=0, a concurrent election. This constant is actually 0.95, but its 95% confidence interval includes 1.00 (it is 0.844–1.057). The coefficient on the nonconcurrent dummy is 0.552, from which I get the approximation, 1.5, in the equation in the second figure (summing this coefficient and the constant). The coefficient on E is –1.072. R2=0.215.

24 thoughts on “France 2022: Assessing the honeymoon election and towards a model of the impact of election timing on the president’s party’s seats

  1. Matt
    Could you please sort out the Israeli electoral system. This instability has been going on for decades. There is no one I can think of more qualified. Get it sorted!
    Best
    Paul

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    • Ha! Thanks for the vote of confidence in my ability to sort out Israeli politics!

      I have written a fair amount about that over the years, including at this blog, and in the Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society, as well as a 2010 piece in Hebrew published by the Israeli Democracy Institute (English version here). The latter piece came out of a consulting gig, in which I got to talk to several members of the Knesset, including then opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

      So I have tried. On the other hand, the upshot is that I do not think any plausible electoral reform would have a big impact. Or if it did, it might be an undesirable one.

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  2. My question is, how did Le Pen’s RN break through so successfully? This was supposed to be the electoral system that would contain the far right, and yet RN have scored such a massive coup that they actually far more seats than they received in 1986 (under the only election held under PR in this Republic) – granted, they only received about half the vote share in 1986. But they now have a seat share very close to the vote share they received in this election (15.4% of seats on 18.7% of the first round vote). Granted, they have also a higher vote share in this election than ever before (their previous peak was 14.9%, in 1997).

    The RN’s 2022 result is not the only one which is highly proportional – in fact, all parties/alliances except Ensemble have a vote-seat difference under 5% (based on first round vote share) – the LSq index for parties/alliances other than Ensemble was just 4.9. Ensemble is the only party/alliance with a really disproportional advantage ratio. Macron’s alliance therefore apparently still received a large benefit from being the centrist option, but the disadvantage to the others was very widely distributed.

    Is there anything to explain these patterns beyond the vagaries of vote distributions? I also wonder what this will mean for potential electoral reform projects. If any of these new patterns (particularly the RN’s seat share and the lack of single alliance majority) hold, I suspect PR might not seem as distasteful to players other than Ensemble. The centre-right alliance in particular may come to favour it. If this becomes part of the government formation negotiations, perhaps it will really be on the table this time, as opposed to just being insincere filler material for the heading ‘constitutional and democratic reforms’ of the government’s legislative program.

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    • It’s been said that Zenmour running to the right of RN helped to normalize the latter, by making them appear comparatively moderate (a strategy also pursued in the whites-only elections of late apartheid South Africa by the then-ruling National Party, after far right-wingers opposed to the government’s limited reforms broke off to form the Conservative Party).

      At any rate, on this Twitter thread I have the aggregate results for the main types of runoff contests in Sunday’s election:

      Note that RN won more seats in contests with Ensemble than in contests with NUPES.

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    • These are good and important questions raised by JD.

      Mostly the vagaries of regional distributions, I suspect. I saw Manuel indicate on Twitter that the Republicans vote was quite regionally concentrated. Maybe the RN was, too?

      Also, I heard a commentator on France24 say that about 30% of Republican voters voted for the RN candidate in the runoff where such a candidate was in the final contest. That is a worryingly high amount, even if it was only “tactical.”

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      • RN support was also concentrated, with the party winning 21 of 42 seats in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur; 15 of 49 seats in neighboring Occitanie; and 20 of 50 seats in the northern Hauts-de-France region, making it the largest party seat-wise in all three regions. However, it also won 33 of 398 seats in the rest of metropolitan France (albeit only 2 of 97 in the Île-de-France region, where Paris is located). In all, the 208 RN candidates in the runoff election went from 27.5% in the first round to 48.1% in Sunday’s vote; the party’s 359 defeated first round candidates polled 13.9%.

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  3. How did RN win so many seats?

    “After benefiting (de facto) from a “republican front” to win re-election, Macron strongly rejected it when it came to returning the favor to the left. Such a cynical reaction could only outrage left-wing voters: why would they vote for the Ensemble candidates opposed to RN candidates, if the presidential party refuses to do the same for the Nupes candidates?

    “Nupes leaders and activists cried foul. On the evening of the second round, they believed that the election of 89 RN deputies was the consequence of the lack of clear instructions to block the RN. Mélenchon denounced the “demonization” of Nupes by the presidential camp. The LFI deputy Alexis Corbière drove the point home on France Inter: “Macronie is responsible for the breakthrough of the RN” , affirming that for 57 duels of the Nupes against the RN out of 61, Ensemble had not given any clear voting instructions. LFI deputies Danielle Simonnet and Adrian Quatennens took up the same argument. “A case-by-case study shows that, out of 61 Ensemble candidates, 16 of them called to vote for their ex-competitor Nupes.”

    https://www.nouvelobs.com/idees/20220621.OBS59990/le-cynisme-de-macron-et-les-rodomontades-de-melenchon-ecrasent-tout-debat-de-fond.amp

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    • What would ‘returning the favour’ mean? I thought there were very few three-candidate runoffs where Ensemble could have stood down in favour of the NUPES candidate.

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      • I, too, find the “return the favor” phrase really strange here.

        I suppose it means a clear call to vote for the Nupes candidates in Nupes-RN runoffs. But as I said in my other comment moments ago (which appears below this one), it would not be easy messaging to say that in certain districts you should vote for the candidates of the movement trying to make Mélenchon premier.

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      • First, a bit of perspective. In 2017 120 of 571 FN candidates qualified for the runoff vote, and while only eight were elected, their share of the vote increased between rounds from 22.1% to 40.2%. Although that increase was in part due to the fact that not only turnout decreased noticeably between the two rounds, but also that blank/void ballots shot up in the runoff vote, most of it was because their vote totals increased significantly in the runoff election, from 1,061,382 to 1,590,869.

        Meanwhile, this year 208 of 567 RN nominees made it to the runoff election, with their vote increasing between rounds from 2,272,829 (27.5%) to 3,589,465 (48.1%), resulting in the election of 89 candidates.

        The French electoral system kept FN largely out of the National Assembly because it used to be a smaller party, which meant the large majority of its National Assembly candidates were usually eliminated in the first round of voting, and the few that made it to the runoff election were almost always trounced by the so-called “republican front” of voters from mainstream right to far left rallying around runoff candidates opposed to FN. Neither is the case any longer: RN is now a mid-sized party with substantial pockets of concentrated support, which have made it much more difficult to keep it largely out of the runoff election, and over the years it has acquired a veneer of respectability, which has allowed it to overcome the “republican front” effect.

        To be certain, I agree that Macron and Ensemble had no incentive to favor NUPES candidates over those of RN just to contain the latter in runoff races between those two parties. But the fact remains that most of the seats gained by RN came from 108 contests where it finished nearly tied with Ensemble, both in terms of seats (55-53) and votes (50.3% to 49.7%). Macron and his party appear to have seriously misjudged RN’s potential in those seats, particularly so in forty-eight districts where the runoff vote was a rematch between Ensemble and RN. Back in 2017 Macron’s REM won 47 to just one for FN, whereas on Sunday RN secured 35, while Ensemble was reduced to 13, even though the runoff popular vote was far closer (52.2% RN to 47.8% Ensemble).

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  4. The Socialist Party Group and the Green Group have enough members jointly to pass Macron’s legislation if negotiated. Would they negotiate separately from LFI?

    The National Assembly is currently without a majority in power. That leaves the 12 Regional Councils as power centres, 11 of which have majority governments.

    Elected only a year ago, on June 27, 2021, they often saw the Socialists and Greens as partners, often with Communists but without the LFI. Here are four of them.

    In Burgundy (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) centred on Dijon, the Socialist-Communist alliance got 26.52% in the first round. The LFI were excluded in the first round. The Greens got 10.34% but merged with the Socialists for the second round to stop the right. The incumbent Socialists and their Green partners got 42.20% in the second round, and with the bonus, 57% of the seats, re-electing their President. The governing 57 councillors from 8 Departments sit as 41 Socialists, 8 Greens, and 8 Communists.

    In Normandy (centred on Rouen), the socialist/green alliance got 18.37% and the LFI/Communist list was excluded, so in the second round the Socialist/Green alliance won 26.2%, becoming the opposition to the centre-right government. Macron’s list stood fourth.

    In Grand Est (centred on Strasbourg), the Socialist/Green/Communist alliance got 14.60% in the first round, leaving the LFI and allies excluded. In the second round they got 21.2%, while Macron’s list stood fourth.

    In Occitania (centred on Toulouse) the incumbent Socialist alliance of four parties (including the Communists) got 39.6% in the first round, while the greens and LFI were excluded, so without needing mergers the Socialist alliance got 57.8% in the second round. The government’s 109 councillors sit as Socialists (69), centre-left Left Radicals (18), Communists (15), or diverse ecologists (7).

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    • “The Socialist Party Group and the Green Group have enough members jointly to pass Macron’s legislation if negotiated. Would they negotiate separately from LFI?”

      My understanding is that this is how the Rocard government survived, dealing with the Communists on some issues and centrist-leaning UDF members on other issues. It’s also a fairly obvious strategy for any minority government, of course. However, what seems unusual about this situation is that in 2017 a substantial number of members of the left of LR and the right of the PS joined Macron’s coalition – perhaps Macron has hollowed out his own future support base?

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      • Regarding Rocard, head of Mitterrand’s initial second-term government, my biggest recollection is that after being reelected, Mitterrand called for “an opening to the centre.” It seemed like a coded request for a minority government, so that he could work with the UDF in the National Assembly. And that’s exactly what he got. You are probably right that he sometimes forged coalitions on specific bills with the Communists, although I have no recollection of that.

        Obviously, a difference this time is that Macron did not offer any hint as to whom he would work with in a minority situation, because Jupiter couldn’t find himself in such a situation, could he?

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        • I note that the votes in the assembly election suggest shifts to both the left and the extreme right, whereas likely cooperation with the Republicans would imply a shift in policy towards otherwise fairly substantial losers in this cycle, the established old right. If, on the other hand, there were cooperation with the Socialist–Green group, it arguably would more accurately reflect the electoral outcome.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. On Wednesday evening, Macron “returned the ball to the parliamentary groups in the Assembly, demanding a clarification of their position. “It is up to the political groups to say in full transparency how far they are prepared to go,” he said. “It will be necessary to build (…) compromises, enrichments, amendments, but to do so in full open-air transparency (…) in a desire for union and action for the nation which concerns all the political forces.”
    On Thursday the newly elected Socialist Party caucus chair Boris Vallaud returned the ball to the camp of the Head of State (whose classmate he was at the ENA) asking him “how far he was ready to compromise”. But without closing the door to possible discussions: “We see that there are emergencies on the social side, on purchasing power, on the environmental question and this cannot wait. With the other components of the left, the socialist group will be a force of propositions (not just opposition).”
    https://www.lesechos.fr/politique-societe/politique/boris-vallaud-prend-la-tete-du-groupe-socialiste-a-lassemblee-1415361

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  6. Manuel Alverez-Riversa posted excellent data, but it was a twitter feed. With permission, I am going to repost the feed here, where it should be easier to read:

    “In Sunday’s legislative runoff vote in France, most contests were either races between the centrist Ensemble and the left-wing NUPES (271); Ensemble and the far-right RN (108); NUPES and RN (59); or between the mainstream right LR and either Ensemble, NUPES or RN (67). 1/

    In the 271 Ensemble-NUPES races, Ensemble won a large majority of 178 seats to 93 for NUPES, with the following results by round: 2/ 1st – 30.6% NUP, 30.2% ENS, 14% RN, 8.4% LR 2nd – 52.7% ENS, 47.3% NUP

    The 108 Ensemble-RN contests were closely fought though, with Ensemble winning 55 seats to 53 for RN: 3/ 1st – 28.1% RN, 26.4% ENS, 19.3% NUP, 9.1% LR 2nd – 50.3% ENS, 49.7% RN

    Meanwhile, in the 59 NUPES-RN contests, RN won 33 seats to 26 for NUPES with these results: 4/ 1st – NUP 28.3%, RN 27.5%, ENS 19.5%, LR 6.5% 2nd – 50.6% RN, 49.4% NUP

    The 67 contests with LR candidates included 18 against Ensemble, 24 against NUPES and 25 against RN. LR won 59 seats with 59.5% of the runoff vote, while Ensemble won just five, RN two and NUPES one. In the first round LR polled 29.4%, NUPES 20%, RN 19.3% and Ensemble 18.8%. 5/

    Finally, these numbers come from results as reported by France’s Ministry of the Interior elections website. Figures derived from other sources might be slightly different on account of disagreements about the political affiliations of some candidates. /END”

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  7. Not sure if my last comment, which was a re-post of Manual Alverez-Rivera’s twitter data, went through. Its been awhile since I posted here and am not used to the anti-spam procedures.

    But its worth checking out who finished second in the first round and won the second round. It seems like something like 80% of the candidates who finished first in the first round also won the second round. This is fairly high, and is probably due to people who voted for candidates who did not make it to the second round not voting in that round, instead of voting for their less preferred option.

    But as one would expect, the establishment and centrist parties won the bulk of districts where the first round second place candidate won in the second round. About half of these, 10% of the races overall, were won by the Ensemble candidate. Most of the rest went to tne UDC (Union of the Right and Center -mainly Les Republicans but also UDI) candidate, and about 40% of the races they won were due to these come from behind wins. No UDC candidate who placed first in the first round failed to win in the second round, but this happened in at least one instance with all the other parties. There were not many RN candidates who finished second in the first round and won the second round, but these instances still exceeded the number of FN deputies elected in 2017. It was mainly NUPES that failed to convert first round second places into second round victories, though they had a few successes.

    I’m not giving exact figures on the deputies because it is really hard to tell with French politics which politician belongs to which party or coalition, so different sources give different totals, and I did the analysis for my own interest and no doubt my figures were off.

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    • I am not sure what an “expected” rate of first-round finishers winning a runoff would be, but 80% does not strike me as in any way surprising.

      The share might tend to be lower if your party system has two blocs, and two fairly strong parties within each bloc (as was the case in France till recently). And it would be generically higher the closer the first-round contest is (we certainly see this in the worldwide dataset of presidential elections, although I think the overall rate of runoff comebacks is higher for presidential elections that go to a second round). But in general, that >75% of plurality winners go on to be majority winners seems pretty reasonable.

      Nice to see you commenting here again, Ed. As far as spam filters, I have not adjusted anything in years. Whether WP changed something under the hood or not, I would not know. The only messages that are not real spam that I know should get held back are those with many links (because having many links is a common feature of spam). Thanks for persisting.

      Also note that I found your other comment in the spam folder and approved it. Now it should appear in the thread above.

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  8. Off topic slightly… but the Green Party of Canada’s leadership race rules may be of interest to folks here. They’re basically doing the two-round Alaska-style final four preferential ballot thing, but with the twist being that the final four in the first round is being decided by STV rather than SNTV.

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  9. Five dissident Socialists and a sixth former Socialist formed on June 27 “a group of Diverse Left and Radicals to “defend the values of a responsible and republican left.” But they need 15 for a group. What will they do next? Meanwhile, another dissident Socialist has been allowed into the Socialist Party Group.

    The veteran dissident is David Habib, 61, from Pyrenees-Atlantique 3, a PS Incumbent since 2002, who disagreed with joining Nupes. LFI/Nupes ran again him, and stood second after Macron did not run a candidate there.

    Two were in Occitania Region, where Carole Delga is the Socialist Regional President. David Taupiac, in Gers 2, where the incumbent Socialist retired but was Taupiac’s campaign manager. He is a dissident Socialist who declares himself “loyal to Carole Delga” and defeated LREM, while the LFI/NUPES came third. And Laurent Panifous, in Ariège 2, ran against the incumbent LFI/Nupes and defeated him, while RN stood 3rd and Ensemble 4th. (However, note that the other two incumbent Socialists in Occitania were re-elected for Nupes: Valerie Rabault in Tarn-et-Garonne 1, and Joel Aviragnet in Haute-Garonne 8.)

    Jean-Louis Bricout, in Aisne, was a PS deputy since 2012, elected with the support of NUPES but disavowed them, which got him excluded from the SP caucus.

    Olivier FALORNI, in Charente-Maritime 1, was originally a PS member, but Ségolène Royal had him excluded from the SP and he ran against her in 2012, defeating her and becoming National Assembly member for the PRG, re-elected in 2017 with no SP candidate. In 2022 NUPES ran against him but he won the second round as PRG when Ensemble came third and RN 4th.

    Benjamin Saint-Huile Nord 3, was elected as a local Socialist mayor in 2008 at age 24 and re-elected. He split with the PS in February, assembled a local coalition, and pushed the Incumbent Ensemble into 4th place, while the RN stood second and NUPES 3rd. (However, note the comparable case of dissident socialist Bertrand Petit, in Pas-de-Calais 8. In 2017 he was 33 votes out of second place as the Socialist Party candidate, and was determined to try again. Nupes ran a LFI candidate, but Petit ran as a dissident Socialist and pushed incumbent Ensemble into third place, while the RN stood second and Nupes came fourth. Remarkably, his sins have been forgiven, and he sits with the SP group.)

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