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French legislative elections and the left

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The Irish Times - Letters to the Editor.

Sir, – I’m writing as an Irish citizen, resident in France, where the upcoming election dominates private thoughts and public discourse. Having recently joined the campaign of the Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP) as a volunteer, I have seen the willingness to put divisions aside to mount a united front against the far-right Rassemblement National. How dispiriting then, to read Lara Marlowe’s dismissal of the NFP in her article (“Macron called an election to avoid ‘bedlam’. It is a mad gamble which he may not win” (Opinion & Analysis, June 22nd), in which she says that this alliance is “not working”.

This view is undermined by the scenes at my local marketplace on Friday morning, where members of all the parties which comprise the NFP were campaigning for a common candidate. Yesterday morning, members of the same parties, along with union representatives and feminist organisations assembled outside the town hall in La Rochelle to march in support of women against the far right.

In some news coverage the success of the RN is almost being presented as an inevitability. Readers in Ireland should know that the cause of the left is not lost. People are fighting hard against this threat in their communities all over France. To borrow from the chants that rang though the streets of La Rochelle today, “On est là”. We are here. – Yours, etc,



La Rochelle,