Benoit Amon became the socialist candidate for the French presidency

The ex-Minister of education Benoit Amon Sunday, January 29, was the winner of the primaries, in which the ruling socialist party of France chose their candidate for the presidency. In the second round of primary elections Amon, representative of the left wing of the socialists, scored more than 58% of the vote. His rival, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls admitted his defeat with a score of about 42%.


After the victory in the second round of open primaries 49-year-old Benoit Amon gained the right to represent the socialists in presidential elections this spring. While opinion polls tipped the candidate of the socialist is only the fourth or fifth place at the spring elections — behind the leaders of the presidential race, marine Le Pen and françois Fillon.


In the first round of the primaries of the socialists on January 22 Benoit Amon, contrary to expectations, came in first place with 36% of the vote. Former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who was the favorite, then took the second place with 31.5% of votes.


The unexpected success of Amun in France compared with the unexpected breakthrough of ex-Prime Minister françois Fillon in the camp of the French right: the primaries “Republicans” in November 2016 Fillon, who was considered the underdog, beat the favorites of the polls Alain Juppe and Nicolas Sarkozy.


According to preliminary data, the turnout in the second round of the primaries of the socialists has exceeded 1 million 100 thousand people (60% of the plots). In the first round on 22 January voted to 1.6 million Frenchmen. This $ 1 million less than the first in the history of France in the primaries, which the socialists organized in 2011 by choosing as their candidate the current President, Francois Hollande. In November 2016 the participants of the first primaries of the French right-wing were more than 4 million French.


Socialists veering left


Benoit Amon — the candidate from “left wing” socialists: he is in favour of unconditional basic income around 750 euros for all French at the age of 18 years, for the reduction of working time, the reform of the state apparatus and the Constitution (the transition from V to VI of the Republic), and strengthening citizen participation in the legislative process and the legalization of marijuana. In 2014, Benoit Amon left the French government because of disagreement with the liberal economic policies of President Hollande.


Manuel Valls, until recently, stood at the head of this government who carried out liberal policy (large-scale tax cuts for business, the reform of the Labour code, etc.). The Waltz has a reputation of “the right” politics in the camp of the French socialists. According to many commentators, the victory of Amun in the primaries reflects the desire of the supporters of the socialists to save the party from “liberal bias” and return it to the traditional left values.


Election of the President of France will be held in two rounds — on April 23 and may 7. According to recent polls, the winner of the primaries of the socialists can count only on the fifth place in the presidential race.


19 January in France published the results of a survey conducted by Ipsos Sopra Steria for Le Monde newspaper. The lead in the first round of the spring elections held by the head of the extreme right marine Le Pen. The Chairman of the National front is ready to vote for 25-26% of the voters.


Second place (23-25%) tipped the right-wing candidate, françois Fillon. Ex-Prime Minister, representing the party “the Republicans” for the last time lost 3-4% support, say sociologists.


In third place on 23 April, can count former Minister of economy Emmanuel macron. For him are ready to vote for 17-20% of the French. Macron left government of françois Hollande and created his own political movement En marche! (forward). Former financier refuses to call himself a leftist candidate, although commentators attribute it to the left spectrum of politics, liberal and “reformist orientation.”


Fourth place in the polls held by the far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon (13-15%). Member of the European Parliament, former socialist refused to participate in the primaries of the socialist party and the idea of the “single candidate of all the left” at the election of the President. Mélenchon goes on elections from of the movement he created France insoumise (recalcitrant France).


Benoit Amon, as the candidate of the socialists, gain in spring, only 7%, say the sociologists of the centre Ipsos Sopra Steria.


If Manuel Valls became the winner of the primaries of the socialists, he could count on 9-10% of the vote in the first round of presidential elections.