Fillon Leads His Conservative Revolution Towards The Élysée
Francois Fillon achieved an almost unanimous victory against his opponent Alain Juppe in France’s Center-Right primaries on November 27. French citizens voted decisively in favor of Fillon over Juppé to run in the presidential election in May. Fillon, a social conservative who firmly opposes gay marriage and abortion, yet is economically liberal, seems to have appealed to the French voters.
Shortly after the announcement of his victory, Fillon remarked, “[The French voters] have found in me the French values.” This announcement was seemingly a promise to his supporters, known as Les Fillonistes, that he will be fighting for residency at the Élysée Palace as the French President, but it also sparked outrage amongst France’s leftist voters. Jean Christophe Cambadelis, a French politician affiliated with the Socialist Party (PS), wrote on Twitter, “The ultra right is eliminating the last of the chiraco-gaulliste.” Meanwhile Juliette Méadel, Secretary of State for Victim Support, had a different rhetoric, saying that Fillon has disturbing ideologies and politics that come from a hard Thatcherien right.
Meanwhile, France’s Left Party (PG) remains very divided. Current President Francois Hollande is not popular among French voters. Sylvia Pinel, leader of the Radical Party of the Left (PRG) and about whom very little is known, just announced her candidacy, which many have criticized, saying it will only unnecessarily divide her party’s votes. Finally, Jean Luc Melenchon has been publicly backed by communists, harming his ratings among moderate voters.
The mayor of Dijon, François Rebsamen, urged the Left Party to unite in the face of the election against Fillon and Marine Le Pen, the leading candidate of France’s ultra-conservative National Front (FN) party, saying, “The conservative revolution of Fillon or the nationalistic revolution are two massive risks for our country. Let us build an alternate Left.”