This 14 April 2017 French video with English subtitles says about itself:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon delivers a speech at a campaign rally in Rennes.
Unfortunately, French leftist presidential candidate Mélenchon is not in the second round of the elections. If he would have had 3% more of the vote, then he would have eliminated extreme right candidate Marine Le Pen. Mélenchon is the only candidate calling Le Pen a ‘fascist’, instead of using an incorrect euphemism like ‘populist’. Mélenchon has said the members of his political movement will now decide what to do in the second round; unlike other party leaders who yesterday evening after first round results became known, decided for their followers what they should vote in the second round.
By Alex Lantier in France:
24 April 2017
In a historic collapse of the two-party system that has ruled France since the May–June 1968 general strike, the candidates of the Socialist Party (PS) and The Republicans (LR) were eliminated in the first round of the French presidential elections. Ex-PS Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen of the neo-fascist National Front (FN) in the May 7 run-off.
According to official Interior Ministry figures, Macron obtained 23.55 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 22.32 percent. LR candidate François Fillon obtained 19.88 percent, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Unsubmissive France movement … obtained 19.01 percent of the vote.
PS candidate Benoît Hamon received only 6.12 percent of the vote. This is a historic collapse of a leading European social-democratic party comparable only to the disintegration of Greece’s Pasok party, after it imposed economically suicidal European Union (EU) austerity measures in the wake of the 2008 Wall Street crash. The PS government’s deep austerity measures, its imposition of a state of emergency suspending basic democratic rights and its overtures to the FN under President François Hollande have discredited the party.
Fillon and Hamon both endorsed Macron, calling on voters to choose him in order to prevent Le Pen from winning the presidency. Hamon called his defeat a “deep wound,” a “moral defeat,” and “historic punishment” imposed by voters on the PS, for the second time in 15 years. In 2002, PS candidate Lionel Jospin was eliminated by right-wing candidate Jacques Chirac and the FN’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father.
Fillon called for party unity in LR, declaring, “This defeat is mine. It is up to me and to me alone to bear responsibility for it.” Warning of “chaos,” “bankruptcy, and “an exit from the euro currency” if the FN were to come to power, he said, “I will vote in favor of Emmanuel Macron.”
Whether it is Macron or Le Pen who wins the second round, the election will resolve nothing and only set the stage for explosive social conflict. The electorate faces the choice between a neo-fascist and Macron, a former Rothschild banker who formulated Hollande’s bitterly unpopular economic policy and has called for a return to the draft in order to prepare an “era” of major wars. Macron offers no alternative to Le Pen for working people, having endorsed the PS’s state of emergency, which suspends basic democratic rights, as well as deep austerity and war planning.
Macron’s attempt last night to rally popular support against Le Pen in the second round was shot through with contradictions. While presenting himself as a young independent who is obliterating the distinction between right- and left-wing politics and totally renewing France, he is a former PS economy minister running with the support of virtually the entire political establishment. Were he to win the presidency and implement his reactionary program, workers would soon realize that he aims to continue and deepen Hollande’s reactionary policies. …
Macron’s On the March movement consists of a small layer of young entrepreneurs and political operatives whose influence is dependent on the support of top PS government officials, starting with Hollande and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Given the deep unpopularity of France’s major parties, moreover, Macron’s strategy only hands Le Pen an opening to put herself forward as the sole candidate challenging France’s despised political establishment. This is indeed how she reacted last night.
Le Pen spoke from her campaign headquarters in Hénin-Beaumont, a town in the socially devastated coalfields of northern France that elected FN mayor Steeve Briois after its PS mayor Gérard Dallongeville stepped down amid a corruption scandal. Having run on a nationalist opposition to the European Union (EU) and violent anti-immigrant policies, she pledged to make the election a choice between EU and PS austerity and her nationalist defense of France. …
Significantly, TV commentators discussing the election results yesterday evening largely skipped over the significance of the fact that, for a second time in 15 years, the FN is again on the second round of the presidential elections. In 2002, this produced shock and mass protests of millions of people horrified by the possibility that the FN could come to power. Today, however, the political and media establishment treat Le Pen’s presence on the second round as unfortunate but unsurprising.
This is the product above all of the unrestrained opportunism and reactionary policies of the PS.
Fillon, Macron, Le Pen: Today’s Robin Hoods … rob the poor to give to the rich: here.
From the Daily Telegraph in Britain:
Several hundred young people rallied in the Bastille square—the historic site where the 1789 French Revolution began—after projections suggested Le Pen would contest the second round against Emmanuel Macron, a centrist and former banker.
Protesters waved red flags and sung “No Marine and No Macron!”