behind the union of the left, the fear of ecologists to “collect the crumbs” – L’Express

behind the union of the left the fear of ecologists

Sunday June 9, at the headquarters of the Young Ecologists. The polls were not wrong, contrary to what some party officials hoped. And Marie Toussaint obtained a little more than 5.5% of the votes. Cathedral silence when the scores are announced. In the room, eyes are misty. Those of the candidate too.

“Faced with the war waged on ecology, we have held our ground but we are clearly moving backwards. […] I was not able to convince beyond our base. I sincerely apologize for this,” says the head of the list in a trembling voice. And adds: “I take my responsibilities, and I hope that everyone within my political family will take theirs.” these Europeans, the candidate wanted to lead a unitary list. The management preferred the independent list; the second option was preferred by the members. at OK Corral in 3, 2, 1…

And then the evening took a completely different turn. Around 9 p.m., the two TVs in the room pick up a few decibels. “After having carried out the consultations provided for by article 12 of our Constitution, I have decided to give you the choice of your parliamentary future again by voting,” says Emmanuel Macron. “The evening was supposed to be devoted to the European elections,” said Marie Toussaint, a little stunned. “We’re in trouble,” whispers a MEP, walking quickly between the HQ office and the main room. Executive meeting called urgently at 10:30 p.m. 11:30 p.m., René Dumont room, that of the political council, in the company of parliamentarians and elected officials. “What’s going on there?” we ask. “Well, we’re relaunching a campaign!”

“If the PS and the Insoumis want to step on us, they can”

Clémentine Autain, François Ruffin, Olivier Faure… In the Green House, this series of calls for the union of the left feels like lifelines. Because the twist has the merit of closing a nightmarish sequence. And to put the green family back at the center of the game of the future of the left. But this question, which torments the most lucid minds: how to influence the negotiations after such a result? “Obviously it’s going to play a role,” laments Yannick Jadot. A local elected representative elaborates: “We have no influence as a political apparatus. We possibly remain a form of ecological guarantee because we still embody that. But the truth is that if the PS and the Insoumis want to step on us on it, they can.” Summary of a co-listener: “We’re going to collect the crumbs.”

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Aware of the risk, the party leadership is currently debating the forms of union. Should it take the form of a common program, or will it be a simple electoral agreement? The balance could instead tip towards the second option, in order to protect the investiture of already elected Green parliamentarians. “The only solution, with our score, is to roll on the ground trying to convince our outgoing deputies to reappoint them, analyzes a green oil. As it stands, the Insoumis would also have an interest in following this strategy.” At the helm of the negotiations in the coming days, Marine Tondelier, but also MEP David Cormand, the president of the metropolis of Lyon Bruno Bernard, and the boss of the ecologists at the Palais Bourbon, Cyrielle Châtelain.

Marine Tondelier at the center of negotiations

At least the ecologists won’t be able to ruminate on their bitter defeat for too long. The worst, in fact, since 1994, when the head of the list “The Greens” at the time received 2.94% of the vote. In 2019, Yannick Jadot managed to send 12 deputies to Strasbourg. This time Marie Toussaint did not know how to transmit a harmonized story. The candidate of the “non-aggression pact” has never managed to impose her voice in the fratricidal quarrels of the left. And she rarely took the spotlight, except at her own expense.

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In reality, the ecologists had mainly imagined lots of things for internal purposes. Some parliamentarians and local elected officials were preparing an op-ed in the press, to hope that Les Écologues would “professionalize” and become “a real party”, rather than “an NGO”. Others were preparing to castigate “the parallel” and “competing” campaign to that of Marie Toussaint led by Marine Tondelier, and to dissect the relations which had become frosty in recent months between the two women.

Two internal opposition currents, the “Ecologist Spring” (the right wing of the party) and “What binds us” (the territorial motion), could also have given life to their request for an extraordinary congress… “To anticipate municipal, presidential and legislative elections”, we wrote in the texts submitted for the next federal council. And mark, perhaps, the end of the reign of the national secretary, towards whom all the knives had to be drawn. Ironically, here she is at the center of the negotiations, on the left. The results of the Europeans, and the settling of scores will wait.