Prior to the presidential election of April/May 2007 France seemed to epitomise both the crisis facing mainstream politics in Europe and the potential of the developing movement against neoliberalism, which had scored a number of important victories. However, the election, when it came, appeared to confound such assumptions. Not only did the three mainstream parties (the Gaullist UMP, the Socialists and the centre-right UDF) win three quarters of the first-round vote, up from less than 50 percent in 2002, but in the second round Nicolas Sarkozy won a resounding victory over the Socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal.
The right wing Figaro newspaper wrote that with Sarkozy’s victory “France is embarking on a neo-conservative turn of the same type as those experienced in their time by Margaret Thatcher’s Great Britain, Ronald Reagan’s America, José Maria Aznar’s Spain, or even Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy”.1 The radical left, meanwhile, emerged from the election in a fragmented state, with three of the principal figures of the successful 2005 campaign against the EU constitution—the Communist Marie_George Buffet, the LCR’s Olivier Besancenot, and the altermondialiste activist José Bové competing with Lutte Ouvrière’s perennial candidate Arlette Laguiller for a share of the vote. Their scores were squeezed by the pressure to avoid a repeat of the 2002 debacle, when far right leader Jean_Marie Le Pen beat the Socialists into third place. Only Besancenot, who won around 1.5 million votes, was able to improve on his 2002 performance. The others achieved disappointing results, with the Communist electorate amounting to little more than the family and friends of its 80,000 members.
|Jean-Marie Le Pen||3,834,530||10.44|
|Philippe de Villiers||818,407||2.23|
What should we make of all this? Most of the Western media has concluded that the 2007 election represented a revival of mainstream parties and an end to French exceptionalism, presaging the “modernisation” of the French economy along neoliberal lines, and the reconfiguration of both right and left in, respectively, neo-conservative and Blairite guises. As for the radical left, some have argued that its failure to achieve either a unity candidacy or an improvement on its 2002 score was because it had overestimated the significance of the vote against the EU constitution in May 2005, and had therefore exaggerated the opportunities open to it.2 Others have claimed that France has simply shifted to the right.
This article will argue that the election does not mark a fundamental break with the political situation opened up by the struggles of 1995, but is an expression of the ongoing process of polarisation that has been a characteristic of this period. In a context of political reconfiguration it is the mainstream right under Sarkozy that has been able to claw back the initiative, with the Socialist Party in disarray and the radical left still struggling to come to terms with the choices and responsibilities incumbent upon it.
French exceptionalism: myths and reality
A constant refrain of the British media is that France needs to “modernise”. Simon Heffer, writing in the Daily Telegraph, offers a typical generalisation: “While much of the rest of the world moves on through the application of free-market economic disciplines, France is demoralised, impoverished, overtaxed and in despair”.3 On the eve of the second-round poll he compared the choice of Sarkozy or Royal to that between Margaret Thatcher and James Callaghan faced by British voters in 1979.4
But this image of a France that is immune to neoliberalism and aloof from a globalising economy is a myth. The past two decades have seen wholesale privatisation of public services by governments of the left and right alike, and the opening up of the domestic market to international competition. France is ranked second only to Britain worldwide in terms of foreign direct investment.5 Between 1993 and 2003 the number of subsidiary firms owned by foreign capital tripled, with one employee in seven now working for foreign concerns, compared to one in ten British or German workers.6 The proportion of major industrial firms that are foreign owned stands at roughly 50 percent in France, while for France’s competitors the rate is between 10 percent and 25 percent.7 Twelve of the top 40 French firms have less than a quarter of their workforce based in France, with 66 percent of the activity of leading firms conducted abroad. Alcatel, for example, is listed on nine major stock exchanges across the world, while 95 percent of Total’s profits were made abroad in 2005.8
What is really at stake is not whether France can adapt to the world market, but more specifically, whether those who hold power can face down opposition to neoliberal reform. As Philippe Marlière argues, “Over the past 15 years, French workers have successfully defeated the greatest attacks on their welfare state. This is unique in the West. This French exceptionalism angers those who feel that neoliberal economics are not politically and ideologically driven, but the best science can offer”.9
It is true that over the past decade the proportion of GDP taken up by public debt has grown at a faster rate in France than in any pre-_enlargement EU country. Much was made of this debt during the campaign—one current affairs show put a debt counter on its screen for the duration of the election, while the British media lazily and repeatedly echoed widespread misconceptions about France’s “bloated public sector”.10 What none of them acknowledged was the fact that public debt in France amounts to less than the total sum paid out to companies every year in subsidies—
65 billion euros, more than the entire education budget. Nearly a third of this figure is taken up with the cost of exonerating companies from making social security contributions.11
It is also true that for each of the past ten years the French economy has grown at a slower rate than the average for the OECD countries. Yet total profits for major firms rose by 218 percent in the ten years to 2005 (by 42 percent for smaller companies), reaching 84 billion euros.12 Profits represent 40 percent of annually created wealth in France, against 33.5 percent in the US and 31.5 percent in Britain. Despite the fact that almost half the profits made in France are paid out in dividends to shareholders,13 it was the question of productivity that became a central question of the campaign. French workers are more productive per hour than US or British workers, but they work fewer hours.14 Sarkozy’s response was to target the 35_hour week, which he intends to demolish by scrapping the extra charges incurred by firms when employees work overtime, along with the bonuses paid to workers who do so. Fatuously claiming to be speaking on behalf of “the France that gets up early”, he claimed this would allow those who wanted to work more to earn more. But in reality, as Olivier Besancenot pointed out throughout the campaign, the scrapping of overtime bonuses meant that people would instead be working more and earning less. Meanwhile, Royal, despite defending the principle of the 35_hour week, made the need for French people to be “reconciled” with business values a cornerstone of her campaign. An editorial in the Economist in autumn 2006 summed up how those who hold such values view the French economy:
The government…has been paralysed ever since street protests forced it to withdraw a modest labour market reform in the spring… France matters. It is the world’s sixth biggest economy, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a declared nuclear power. It was a founder of today’s European Union… It is in part thanks to France’s paralysis that the union itself is so uncertain of its direction… It will always be hard to get reforms past the gauntlet of France’s street protesters. But at least the government is not hobbled by the scratchy coalition politics that bedevils all attempts at reform in Germany and Italy… The real issue is not whether France is reformable—for the answer must be yes. It is whether there is a Madame Thatcher who has the courage to take on vested interests.
The recipe for reform envisaged by the Economist is a familiar one: cuts in public services and social security, privatisation, deregulation, a longer working week, health service and pension reform. What stands in the way of this is the failure of successive governments to take on and beat the labour movement.
Sarkozy has positioned himself as the champion of a “clean break”: an end to the compromises and retreats that right wing governments have been forced into over the past decade and a half. As he put it in his own blunt words during the campaign, “We must liquidate the heritage of May 1968”.15 His immediate targets are those who defeated his predecessors. He plans to get a version of the neoliberal EU constitution, which the public rejected two years ago, adopted by parliament. The lifting of restrictions on overtime will effectively end the 35_hour week. He plans to reduce the number of fixed term contracts by introducing a single contract for the workplace modelled on the right wing Villepin government’s CPE labour legislation, which will make it easier for workers to be sacked. His attacks on unions include the imposition of secret ballots after eight days of strike action in the public sector, schools and universities, and the obligation on transport and other public sector workers to provide a “minimum service” during strikes. His ministry of “immigration and national identity” will fix quotas on the numbers of immigrants to France, and decide who among them has “a vocation” to become French. Repeat offenders will be subject to a policy of “three strikes and you’re out”, resulting in an automatic maximum penalty, and the treatment of minors will begin to be aligned with that of adult offenders. The unemployed will be denied benefits if they turn down more than two jobs for which they are qualified. Despite the traditional inclusive noises made by Sarkozy on the night of his election, his presidency will accentuate the polarisation of domestic politics and, on the world stage, push French foreign policy in a more pro-US, pro-Israel direction.
On the face of it, then, Sarkozy represents the Economist’s “chance” for France: a neo-conservative hybrid of Napoleon Bonaparte and Margaret Thatcher. His victory is a serious setback for the movement against neoliberalism. But the scale of resistance constrains his room for manoeuvre. During the CPE protests last year, for example, voices on the right urged the Villepin government to hold out against the movement, evoking Thatcher’s stance against the miners. Sarkozy, having initially taken a hard line, was one of the voices urging a compromise solution to the crisis. The right, as the defeat of each of its governments for nearly three decades prior to 2007 demonstrates, has nowhere near the popular support enjoyed by Thatcher, which means that its every attempt to take to the offensive has only reinforced its isolation from the rest of the population. Sarkozy’s own victory was only achieved by distancing himself from Villepin and Chirac in order to present himself as an outsider figure.
Royal is also constrained by the general crisis of the political establishment, but her position is further complicated by the decline of the Socialist Party. So, while the party leadership would have liked to implement neoliberal attacks on the labour movement in the name of “modernisation”, it also had to seek electoral support from a constituency whose outlook remains significantly to the left of the party, and which deserted it in 2002 and in the 2005 referendum on the EU constitution. These contradictions plagued Royal’s campaign. Sensing that her “social liberal” (ie social and free market) message was undermining popular support for the Socialists, party leader François Hollande announced that the party would increase the tax burden on those taking home more than 4,000 euros (£2,300) a month—80 percent of employees in France take home less than half this amount. Royal responded that, on the contrary, she had no intention of reversing the tax breaks for the rich introduced by the right, despite the fact that these amounted to 120 billion euros a year, higher than either France’s social security or pension deficits.16 A week later Sarkozy, the candidate who pays the most wealth tax, made a speech proclaiming himself the champion of working men and women. Royal’s reaction was to unveil a 100-point programme in February that was far to the left of anything she had previously proposed. “She was losing support both from the establishment of the party and from the left, so she’s going back to the socialist orthodoxy,” was how one economist explained her plans to raise the state pension and the minimum wage and to renationalise the electricity industry.17
Such incoherence from the Royal entourage, combined with various mishaps (her campaign spokesperson told a national television audience that Royal’s only defect was her husband, Hollande), undermined her credibility. But the basic problem facing Royal was that, whereas Tony Blair was able to benefit from opposition to 18 years of Thatcherism while pursuing his own market-driven agenda, the Socialists have shared power with the right for the past 25 years and can no longer automatically win votes from those who know what “social liberalism” in office means. Despite being one of the weakest Socialist parties in Europe, the French Socialist Party has been in government for 15 of the past 25 years. Over this period the party’s activist base has steadily eroded. The reliance on polls and outside agencies as a substitute for activism should not, as one recent study of the party points out, just be seen as a consequence of the influence of television and the media; it is also a reaction to the shrinking of active party membership. This decline manifests itself in many ways, from the contraction of the party’s activist networks to the weakening of the organised currents that structured internal party competition and debate. In this sense Royal is the logical candidate of a party in decline. She has never led a current within the party, or contributed to its “theoretical” review, and symbolises the “fickle choices of the party’s elected representatives, the disarray of its activists, and the discredited view of the party held by its most loyal voters”.18
The radical left
Despite the failure to inflict decisive and lasting defeats on workers over the past quarter of a century, there has been a constant drive to claw back the social and welfare concessions made during the post-war boom. Disparities of wealth and income are stark. Unemployment has not dropped below 8 percent for over 20 years, and stands at over 20 percent among young people. Although the French labour movement has not suffered the same heavy defeats inflicted on British workers during the 1980s, the cumulative effect of the ruling class offensive has been to drive significant sections of the working class into relative poverty, their atomisation reflected in a process of “disaffiliation” from political and trade union organisation, opening up a space for racist ideas to gain a foothold among the most isolated elements of the workforce.
The decline of the traditional institutions of the labour movement, notably the Communist Party, has contributed to this process, and limited workers’ scope for action. Thus, despite the rise in struggle since 1995, the total number of strike days remains low compared with the 1975_85 period. The weakness of trade unions has had an impact. The forms of struggle to have emerged since 1986, based on rank and file activity organised through strike committees or “coordinations” and mass meetings, have allowed movements to grow rapidly and spontaneously, but these struggles have a significant weakness. They are relatively ephemeral and have not yet found a means to compensate for the permanent organisational capacities provided for workers by strong trade unions.
But while the mass organisations of the labour movement are weaker, the working class itself is going through a process of transition and regeneration and has grown numerically stronger since the 1970s. Most serious studies of working life in France estimate that workers, employees and “intermediary professions” makes up around 75 percent of the active population of some 25 million people.19 Sectors new to struggle—teachers, employees in the service industries, immigrant and fixed term contract workers—have adopted radical forms of action.
Thus, while the total number of strike days has remained low in the decade since 1995, there has been a significant rise in street demonstrations. Moreover, groups of workers that were previously difficult to organise, such as part time or fixed term contract staff, have begun to engage in struggle—the recent offensive six_week strike by PSA car workers in Aulnay being a good example. A recent study by the French ministry of employment bears out this picture of a new working class in the process of finding the means to organise itself. It found that although only 7 percent of workers are unionised, in single establishment firms with between 100 and 499 employees union presence now stood at 10 percent. Trade union structures are also developing in firms employing more than 20 people, 38 percent of which had at least one union representative in 2004-5, up from 33 percent in 1998-9. In firms that had union reps 62 percent of employees considered their role to be “irreplaceable”.
The present situation, then, is one in which aspects of the past—notably the weight of defeats suffered in the 1980s and their effect on organised labour—coexist with an often uneven process of working class recomposition and regeneration. So far political forces to the left of the Socialists have been unable to build a political home for those who no longer recognise themselves in social democracy. The principal issue at stake today, then, is the disconnection between the social and the political field.
This is not an abstract theoretical question. There is a powerful anti_capitalist current in France. Not only have millions mobilised on various occasions in the recent past, but networks of activists exist all over France as a result of struggles going back 20 years, from the student movement of 1986, and the health, railway and postal workers’ strikes of the late 1980s, to the mobilisations of students and public sector workers in recent years. Each successive movement has nourished these networks, leaving them stronger going into the next wave of protests, and making France, along with Italy, the country where the anti-capitalist movement has developed furthest.
One of the most significant indications of this development is the way the terms of the debate about the relationship between the social and the political have changed. Following the emergence of the so-called social movement in the late 1990s, various representatives of grassroots associations, along with a number of trade unions and intellectuals including Pierre Bourdieu, issued a public statement proclaiming the autonomy of the movement from political parties, anxious to avoid it becoming reappropriated by political forces, notably the Communist Party.
Following the drama of the 2002 election, and the defeated movement against pension reform in 2003, came the biggest anti-capitalist protest yet seen in France, when 300,000 gathered in Larzac in support of Bové. By now the question was posed differently: how could the hiatus between the social movement and its political expression be overcome?
It was a question the revolutionary left was not in a position to answer at that stage, substituting rhetorical statements about being the only alternative to neoliberalism, and proclamations about the need for “a big anti-capitalist force”, for an authentic political engagement with the movement.20 The campaign against the EU constitution offered a way out of this dichotomy. Political forces—the Communist Party, the LCR and a left-leaning current within the Socialist Party known as the PRS—played a leading role in the movement, equipping it with arguments, propaganda and an activist core. It was a role that was supplemented by the work of the grassroots associations and non-aligned activists, but one whose worth all those involved could appreciate. The importance of political parties to the movement, something which had been openly contested within the anti_capitalist movement at the European Social Forums in Florence in 2002 and Paris in 2003, was now broadly accepted.
The campaign against the EU constitution has already been detailed in this journal.21 The key, and potentially contradictory, aspects of its success were the break of broad sections of the left from social liberalism, and the desire for unity. The need for unity was a lesson learnt and imprinted on the minds of all who had participated in the struggles of the previous decade and there was a tangible sense of recognition every time it was invoked on the platforms of the campaign. The most prominent Socialist figure in the “no” campaign, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has conveyed the mood of the campaign very well:
Writing these lines, the emotion comes back to me. I see the good people of the Aisne region, so marked physically, meeting in a packed room with their MP… While I was speaking, denouncing all the great minds who were promising them more privatisation of public services—the only lasting inheritance in the room—and ever more “free and undistorted” competition, I ended up shouting: “Punish them! Vote to punish!”, which was clearly excessive, and later denounced by many upstanding figures who also noted the class hatred that it revealed. But I was astonished to see the whole room rise and stand, some saluting with clenched fists, others clapping in rhythm and I don’t know what besides… And all this brought back to me a reality of stifled fears and vengeful rages to which I’d opened the door and which I saw had us all pinned down…this time of contained suffering and impotent humiliation. If we don’t understand that…then we fail to grasp the carnal reality of this No to a neoliberal Europe.22
The impetus of the campaign meant that the collectives formed to organise it remained active, meeting to discuss how to translate their effectiveness into something more permanent. This in itself was a further example of how the movement was reaching for political tools independently of the parties themselves: just as the Attac movement for global justice had been transformed from a network established to campaign around the issue of financial speculation into something much broader, so, once it had reached the limit of its effectiveness, attention turned to another tool that could be fashioned into something fulfilling the functions usually assumed by a political party.
The attempt to nominate a unity presidential candidate for the anti_neoliberal left was a process which offered for the first time the chance of a political alternative emerging to challenge the dominance of reformist politics (whether Communist or Socialist) over social movements. It allowed for discussion, on a wider scale than at any time since the late 1970s, of the possibility of a break with the reformist management of capitalism. The discussions which took place across France involved between 20,000 and 30,000 activists. The Communist Party attempted to manoeuvre its leader, Marie-George Buffet, into a position where she would be adopted as the candidate of the collectives. Whatever the degree of bad faith that lay behind the actions of the Communist leadership, this marked a significant shift in strategy. Having participated in the plural left coalition under the premiership of Lionel Jospin between 1997 and 2002, the Communist Party had now moved onto the terrain of the radical left and was seeking the nomination of a movement explicitly opposed to social liberalism. But instead of taking the leadership’s line at face value in order to hold it to account before its membership, the LCR, in abstaining from the process on the grounds that the Communists could not be trusted, severely limited the prospect of meaningful dialogue with the many thousands of activists who genuinely believed in the possibility of a radical left alternative emerging.
Once the attempt to find a candidate who the collectives could unite around had failed, José Bové, who had withdrawn from the process at an earlier stage, declared himself a candidate, pulling—at least initially—a number of activists from the LCR into his campaign. In the event his campaign was overshadowed by Besancenot, the only candidate of the radical left who was able to rally a significant number of votes around the aspirations of the movement. That nearly one in ten young people voted for him is a testimony to the dynamism of the LCR’s campaign. But the lesson of the election for the radical left is nevertheless that, united, the whole remains greater than the sum of its parts.
The European radical left is at a crossroads. As Daniel Bensaïd has pointed out, the failure of the social movement in Italy to defeat attacks on public services and social protection has led expectations to drift towards electoral solutions, with the result that Rifondazione Comunista now offers support to the social liberal government of Romano Prodi.23 In France the victory over the CPE youth employment law in 2006 generated realistic hopes that the movement would find a political voice in the elections. The articulation between the movement and the collectives is not straightforward, however, and there was no direct or automatic translation of that victory into a qualitative regeneration of the collectives. This, coupled with the absence of the LCR leadership from the deliberations over a unity candidate, gave the Communist Party scope to exert its still considerable institutional muscle.
The failure of the process has led some to conclude that organisations remain an obstacle to unity, as if the LCR, a vital and consistent component of the struggles of the past decade, can be placed on an equal footing with the Communist Party and its history of compromise and betrayal. But it is the struggle against neoliberalism, and not the decisions taken by the organisations of the radical left, which initiated the drive for unity. For this reason, the possibility of a united radical alternative to compromise with social liberalism will remain on the agenda, but not indefinitely.
We are still in the early stages of a recomposition of the French labour movement. The election of Sarkozy presents it with a more daunting challenge than any faced since 1995. When Chirac became president in that year he did so on a vow to heal France’s “social fracture”, a promise that undermined his subsequent attempts to attack the public sector. Sarkozy has been unequivocal in his desire to pursue these attacks and now has a mandate to do so. But his victory is not primarily the result of his ability to wrest control of the UMP party from Chirac and unite it around an authoritarian project. It is above all a consequence of the failure of the Socialists to capitalise on the unpopularity of the right, which has governed since 2002.
Of the six issues which voters considered the most important in making their choice in the presidential election, all, aside from law and order, were themes that traditionally favour the left: unemployment, spending power, education, exclusion/poverty and pensions.24 Sarkozy cannot rely on positive widespread popular backing for a neoliberal programme. His success underlines the fact that options are narrowing for mainstream parties, a further indication, as was argued in this journal following the 2002 election, that the centre cannot hold.
This is obvious when we consider the state of the Socialist Party. In the mid-1990s Jospin was able to put together a “plural left” coalition that wed the Communists and Greens to the compromises with the market pursued by his government. The effect of this has been to demolish the electoral base of both coalition partners. The principal figurehead for the left in the Socialist Party today is Laurent Fabius, an enthusiastically pro-market prime minister under Mitterrand who has now undergone an unconvincing makeover as a committed socialist. The scope for a credible left reformist project emerging from within the party and pulling other forces into its orbit is clearly diminishing. More strident voices within the party want it to form an alliance with part of the right wing UDF coalition.
The UDF’s presidential candidate, François Bayrou, a mild mannered party functionary and a minister in the right wing Balladur and Juppé governments of the 1990s, took advantage of the licence given by the personalised nature of the election to recast himself as a rustic gentleman farmer of the “centre”. Although millions of voters saw him as a more credible alternative to Sarkozy than Royal, the UDF will be unable to sustain the illusion that it represents a middle way between left and right: following Sarkozy’s election 22 of its parliamentary group of 29 deputies pledged their unhesitating allegiance to the new president. The last time the Socialists experimented, in a more limited form, with opening up to the right, under the Michel Rocard premiership from the late 1980s, the experience proved disastrous, wrecking Rocard’s career as a front_line politician and leading to the Socialists’ worst ever electoral results in the early 1990s.
In this context, the radical left can have a crucial influence on the pace and nature of political regroupment. An anti-neoliberal alternative to the mainstream will not simply materialise as a natural by_product of the decline of the Communist Party and the rightward drift of the Socialist Party. The inherently conservative political instincts of those who lead left currents in the Socialist and Communist parties mean that they are likely to remain in them long after these parties have ceased to function as meaningful tools for their political aspirations. The LCR has now proved incontrovertibly and impressively that it can punch far above its weight in presidential elections; it can also play a major role in the regroupment of forces outside its ranks.
Two elements underpinning the success of the Besancenot campaign have a significance that goes beyond the election. First, the profile of the campaign chimed with the aspirations of the radical left as a whole. Besancenot’s standing as one of the figureheads of the referendum campaign, the altermondialiste tone and mood of the meetings, the solidarity expressed with the revolt of the impoverished suburbs and the confidence and élan of his attacks on the mainstream candidates, media and Medef employers’ association alike, meant that he was able to become a repository for the aspirations of the radical left. This limited the damage done by the debacle over the unity candidate. Second, the campaign provided compelling proof that a class-based revolutionary party of struggle can win a significant audience despite competition from other forces, and even achieve a greater echo among activists than parties more than 20 times its size, like the Communist Party. In other words, the potential for a small revolutionary party to play a pivotal role in the regeneration of the left, at a time when the traditional institutions of the labour movement are in deep crisis, is clear.
As we have seen with the urban riots of November 2005 and, to a lesser degree, the sporadic confrontations between youth and police following Sarkozy’s election, opposition to his neoliberal authoritarianism will find the means to express itself through rage and frustration in the absence of a more coherent political focus. In the months ahead the resistance of the movement, and the anger of those on its fringes, are going to be challenged by a right that has been given time to regroup. The LCR’s presidential campaign proved the organisation’s capacity to draw together a broad spectrum of forces around an anti-neoliberal platform. Its ability to translate this achievement in building effective, united opposition to Sarkozy will play a crucial role in the outcome of the struggles to come.
1: Wolton, 2007.
2: Zappi, 2007.
3: Heffer, 2006.
4: Heffer, 2007.
5: Les Echos, 20 February 2007.
6: Alternatives Economiques, winter 2006.
7: AGREP, 2 May 2006.
8: L’Express, 30 March 2006.
9: Marlière, 2007.
10: During the election this phrase appeared in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Times, as well as the New York Times and the Washington Post.
11: La Documentation Française, 2007.
12: Economist, 28 October 2006.
13: L’Express, 8 October 2006.
14: OECD, 2005.
15: Le Figaro, 30 April 2007.
16: Le Monde, 12 January 2007.
17: Stewart, 2007.
18: Lefebvre and Sawicki, 2006, p28.
19: Artous, Wilno, Fortino and Cuperty, 2005, p55.
20: See Kouvélakis, 2004.
21: Wolfreys, 2005, and Kouvélakis, 2005.
22: Mélenchon, 2005.
23: Bensaïd, 2006. On the Italian situation see Trudell, 2006.
24: Ipsos/Dell, 2007. See also Dalem, 2007.
Artous, Antoine, Henri Wilno, Sabine Fortino and Patrice Cuperty, 2005, Classe ouvrière, salariat, luttes de classe, Les cahiers de critique communiste, “Arguments et mouvements” (Editions Syllepse).
Bensaïd, Daniel, 2006, “The return of strategy”, International Socialism 113 (Winter 2006).
Dalem, Alexis, 2007, “Comment on perd une élection”, Le Monde, 9 May 2007.
Heffer, Simon, 2006, the Daily Telegraph, 9 May 2006.
Heffer, Simon, 2007, the Daily Telegraph, 5 May 2007.
Ipsos/Dell, 2007, exit poll, 22 April 2007.
Kouvélakis, Stathis, 2004, “Some hypotheses on the reasons for a (not merely) electoral defeat” and “A new political cycle”, International Socialist Tendency Discussion Bulletin 5, July 2004.
Kouvélakis, Stathis, 2005, “France: the triumph of the political”, International Socialism 108 (Autumn 2005).
La Documentation Française, 2007, “Rapport sur les aides publiques aux entreprises: mission d’audit de modernisation”, Ministère délégué à l’Industrie, Janvier 2007.
Lefebvre, Rémi, and Frédéric Sawicki, 2006, La société des socialistes: Le PS aujourd’hui (Editions du Croquant).
Marlière, Philippe, 2007, “Strategy sell-out”, the Guardian website, 7 May 2007.
Mélenchon, Jean-Luc, 2005, “La dimension invisible du ‘non’”, La Revue socialiste, July 2005.
OECD, 2005, www.oecd.org/dataoecd/28/17/36396820.xls
Stewart, Heather, 2007, “Can the French carry on living like this for ever?”, the Observer, 18 February 2007.
Trudell, Megan, 2006. “Rifondazione votes for war”, International Socialism 113 (winter 2007).
Wolfreys, Jim, 2005, “How France’s Referendum Caught Fire”, International Socialism 107 (summer 2005).
Wolton, Thierry, 2007, “Avec Nicolas Sarkozy, la fin de l’exception française”, Le Figaro,
7 May 2007, available from www.lefigaro.fr
Zappi, Sylvia, 2007, “L’échec de la gauche antilibérale”, Le Monde, 29 April 2007.