General Confederation of Labour (France)
The General Confederation of Labour is a national trade union center, founded in 1895 in the city of Limoges. It is the first of the five major French confederations of trade unions, it is the largest in terms of votes, second largest in terms of membership numbers. Its membership decreased to 650,000 members in 1995–96, before increasing today to between 700,000 and 720,000 members fewer than the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail. According to the historian M. Dreyfus, the direction of the CGT is evolving, since the 1990s, during which it cut all organic links with the French Communist Party, in favour of a more moderate stance; the CGT is concentrating its attention, in particular since the 1995 general strikes, to trade-unionism in the private sector. Given its strong presence within several key industries: ports, railway and gas, manufacturing industry, it is acknowledged as the union able to wield the strongest industrial action in France, capable of bringing the country to a standstill.
The CGT was founded in 1895 in Limoges from the merger of the Fédération des bourses du travail and the Fédération nationale des syndicats. Auguste Keufer became the first treasurer. Up until 1919 the CGT was dominated by anarcho-syndicalist tendencies, with Émile Pouget as vice-secretary and leader of the union from 1906 to 1909; the CGT was violently opposed to employers. Moreover, it refused to become affiliated with a political party. In 1906, the Amiens Charter proclaimed the independence of this trade union. In 1909, members of the union management and hundreds of CGT members were killed by the French government led by Georges Clémenceau, who called the troops to open fire on the strikers. Under the leadership of Léon Jouhaux, the Confederation joined the "sacred union" during World War I, which provoked the CGT's first internal division. While Jouhaux tried to associate the CGT with the authorities, his opponents criticized the pervasive air of nationalism and the preference for struggle with the German proletarians rather than the French employers.
They welcomed news of the 1917 October Revolution with hope. In 1919, Pierre Monatte created the Revolutionary Syndicalist Committees current inside the CGT, which opposed the trade-union's collaboration with the government during the war. Following the Russian Revolution, the French labour movement became divided between revolutionaries who supported the Bolsheviks and strong action at home, reformists who favoured moderation and re-affiliation to the pre-war Second International. One outcome of this division was the expulsion of the revolutionaries. Following the 1920 Tours Congress during which the majority of French Section of the Workers' International members voted to accept Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's 21 Conditions, leading to the creation of the French Section of the Communist International, the CGT split. Radicals created the Confédération générale du travail unitaire, where communists cohabited with anarchists and revolutionary trade unionists. In 1934, left-wing parties united to counteract the far-right "ligues".
Two years the Popular Front won the 1936 legislative election. At the same time, the CGT and the CGTU were reunited. Benoît Frachon negotiated in June with employers and the Government for the 1936 Matignon Agreements; the Communists were as a result of the German-Soviet pact in 1939 the CGT was dissolved by the Vichy government but it transformed itself into an organization in the Resistance. It became influenced by the French Communist Party. After the ejection of the Communists from the government and the 1947 General Strike, a further split took place, this time involving the departure of the reformist Right, followed in 1948, when Léon Jouhaux founded Workers' Force with U. S. Central Intelligence Agency support; the FO criticized the Communist influence as being incompatible with the Charte d'Amiens. In order to preserve its unity, the Federation for National Education left the CGT but did not join the FO; the Communist Benoît Frachon became leader of the CGT. Although the CGT was dominant in French trade unionism, it was isolated until 1966.
At this moment, it chose to coordinate its actions with the French Democratic Confederation of Labour. During May 1968 in France, the CGT was criticized by the far-left because its leader Georges Séguy had signed the Grenelle agreements with Prime Minister Georges Pompidou, it was assimilated as a betrayal of the revolution. In the 1970s, it supported the "Union of Left". After the defeat of the 1978 legislative election, the alliance with the CFDT was broken; the election of Henri Krasucki in 1982, followed by the resignation of the Communist ministers two years after the substitution of Laurent Fabius as Prime minister to Pierre Mauroy, led to an initial radicalisation of the confederation. Howe
The LaRouche movement is a political and cultural network promoting the late Lyndon LaRouche and his ideas. It has included many organizations and companies around the world, which campaign, gather information and publish books and periodicals; the movement promotes a revival of a greater commitment to science. The movement originated in radical leftist student politics of the 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of candidates, some with only limited knowledge or connection to LaRouche or the movement, ran as Democrats in the United States on the LaRouche platform. In 1988, LaRouche and 25 associates were convicted on fraud charges related to fund-raising; the movement called the prosecutions politically motivated. LaRouche's wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, heads political and cultural groups in Germany connected with her husband's movement. There are parties in France and other European countries and branches or affiliates in Australia, the Philippines and several Latin American countries. Estimates of the movement range from five hundred to one thousand members in the United States, spread across more than a dozen cities, about the same number abroad.
Members engage in political organizing, fund-raising, cultural events and writing and internal meetings. The movement has had a number of notable members. Restoration of Glass-Steagall. Since 2007, the movement has campaigned to restore the Glass-Steagall Act, to separate commercial banking from speculative investment banking, protecting the former and not bailing out the latter. New Bretton Woods. Advocates the abandonment of floating exchange rates and the return to Bretton Woods-style fixed rates, with gold, or an equivalent, used as under the gold-reserve system; this is not to be confused with the gold standard. American System. Espouses a new "American System" of federalized infrastructure projects and national banks and regulation. Named for the historical American System of Henry Clay, but owing more to the ideas of the expansive American School. Eurasian Land Bridge. Lectures and writes on behalf of a "Eurasian land-bridge", a massive high-speed maglev railway project to span continents and re-invigorate industry and commerce.
Scientific pitch. Argues in favor of what they call "Verdi tuning" in classical music, in which A=432 Hz, as opposed to the common practice today of tuning to A=440 Hz. Mars colonization. Recommends colonization of the planet Mars, on similar basis as many others in the field, that human survivability depends on territorial diversification. Strategic Defense Initiative. Supported directed beam weapons for use against ICBMs, claims credit as the first to propose this to Ronald Reagan. LaRouche does not support rocket-based defensive systems such as anti-ballistic missiles. LaRouche-affiliated political parties have nominated many hundreds of candidates for national and regional offices in the U. S. Canada, Denmark, Germany and France, for thirty years. In countries outside the U. S. the LaRouche movement maintains its own minor parties, they have had no significant electoral success to date. In the U. S. individuals associated with the movement have sought Democratic Party office in some elections Democratic County Central Committee posts, been nominated for state and federal office as Democrats, although the party leadership has periodically voiced its disapproval.
The Schiller Institute and the International Caucus of Labor Committees are international organizations associated by some with the LaRouche Movement. Schiller Institute conferences have been held across the world; the ICLC is affiliated to political parties in France, Germany, Hungary, Denmark, Mexico, the Philippines, several South American countries. Lyndon LaRouche, based in Loudoun County, United States, his wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, based in Wiesbaden, Germany attend these international conferences and have met foreign politicians and academics. According to London-based SciDev. Net, the LaRouche movement has "attracted suspicion for circulating conspiracy theories and advocating for grand infrastructure projects." The movement supports the Transaqua project to divert water from the Congo River to replenish Lake Chad. LaRouche has run for U. S. president eight times, in every presidential election from 1976 to 2004. The first was with the U. S. Labor Party. In the next seven campaigns he ran for the Democratic Party nomination.
He received federal matching funds in 2004. See Lyndon LaRouche U. S. Presidential campaigns. In 1986, LaRouche movement members Janice Hart and Mark J. Fairchild won the Democratic Primary elections for the offices of Illinois Secretary of State and Illinois Lieutenant Governor respectively; until the day after the primary, major media outlets were reporting that George Sangmeister, Fairchild's primary opponent, was running unopposed. More than 2 decades Fairchild asked, “how is it possible that the major media, with all of their access to information, could be mistaken in that way?” Democratic gubernatorial candidate Adlai Stevenson III was favored to win this election, having lost the previous election by a narrow margin. He refused to run on the same slate with Hart and Fairchild, forming the Solidarity Party and running with Jane Spirgel as the Secretary of State nominee. Hart and Spirgel's opponent, Republican incumbent Jim Edgar, won the election with 1.574 million votes. After that primary Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan accused h
Olivier Besancenot. He was a candidate for the 2007 French presidential election, for the Ligue communiste révolutionnaire, the French section of the Fourth International, he gained 1.2 million votes, 4.25%, standing as a revolutionary socialist in the 2002 presidential elections. In the first round of the 2007 presidential election, Besancenot received 4.08% of the vote, just short of 1.5 million votes, placing him fifth and eliminating him from the race. In May 2011, Besancenot announced, he was succeeded as main spokesperson of the NPA by Myriam Martin, who left the NPA to found Gauche Anticapitaliste, Christine Poupin, joined by Philippe Poutou, the NPA presidential candidate in 2012. Olivier Besancenot was born on 18 April 1974 in Levallois-Perret in the Hauts-de-Seine region, his father was a teacher, his mother a psychologist at a school. He studied history at University of Paris X. Since 1997, he has worked as a postal carrier in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, is dismissed by his right-wing opponents as "The Red Postman".
Along with Alain Krivine and Roseline Vachetta, Besancenot was one of three spokespersons for the Ligue communiste révolutionnaire, a far-left political party, the French section of the reunified Fourth International, an international Trotskyist group. Besancenot, eschews the Trotskyist label: I'm neither Trotskyist nor Guevarist or Luxemburgist, I'm a revolutionary, and revolution needs to be reinvented, for no revolutionary experiment has succeeded. Some of them ended up as bloody caricatures. Besancenot's engagement in left-wing politics started early, he joined the Revolutionary Communist Youth in 1988. When at university studying for his history licence, he formed a branch of the Confédération générale du travail trade union in the supermarket, where he worked. In 1991, he joined the LCR. Since 1997, he has been a member of the Sud-PTT trade union, he took a break from his job at the postal services in 1999 and 2000 to serve as a parliamentary attaché to Alain Krivine in the European Parliament.
In 2001 and 2002, he participated in the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre. He gained national prominence. At twenty-eight, he was the youngest presidential candidate in the country's history. Standing on a revolutionary socialist platform, he gained 4.25 % of the total. Among voters under the age of 25, he gained 13.9 percent, beating Lionel Jospin and Jean-Marie Le Pen. In the run-up to the second round of voting, Besancenot urged voters to ensure that the far-right Le Pen did not gain power, by re-electing Jacques Chirac, despite his own misgivings about Chirac's political positions. Besancenot ran again for the 2007 presidential election, his slogan throughout the campaign was "Nos vies valent plus que leurs profits". He stood for political and electoral independence of the anti-capitalist left from the Socialist Party, against its participation in a centre-left government. Besancenot was endorsed by British filmmaker Ken Loach, known for depictions of working-class struggles, his campaign's closing rally, in Paris, was attended by 4,000, the largest meeting organised by the LCR or its predecessors since 1968.
Besancenot gained 1,498,581 votes or 4.08%, around 300,000 votes more than 2002. He is the first in votes and in dominant position among candidates to the left of the Socialist Party's candidate, Ségolène Royal. For the second round of the elections, after calling for participation, stated that, "On 6 May, we will be on the side of those who want to prevent Nicolas Sarkozy from attaining the presidency of the republic, it is not a matter of supporting Ségolène Royal, but voting against Nicolas Sarkozy.", fighting the Right in the street as well as at the ballot boxes. After the victory of Sarkozy in the second round, Besancenot and LCR call for "a united front of all the social and democratic forces to organise a response faced to the extreme neoliberal and repressive programme of Sarkozy."This led, in June 2008, to the launching of the New Anticapitalist Party, intended to unify the parties and movements of the far left. The party aims to field its first electoral candidates at the 2009 EU parliamentary elections.
Whilst plans were being put in place for the formation of this party, Besancenot was able to capitalise on the infighting occurring in the PS in the summer of 2008, as its members prepared to convene at La Rochelle for their annual party leadership contest. His popularity continued to increase, as he remonstrated the PS for focusing its attention on him, not the incumbent president, Sarkozy. Besancenot told French TV, a medium in which he found himself in greater demand, that, "It's up to the population to get there one way or another". One poll showed Besancenot's approval rating to be at 47%, far exceeding two of the main candidates for the PS leadership and François Hollande, it was suggested in some media that, were
Revolutionary Communist League (France)
The Revolutionary Communist League was a Trotskyist political party in France. It was the French section of the Fourth International, it published the journal Critique communiste. Established in 1974, it became the leading party of the far-left in the 2000s, it abolished itself on 5 February 2009 to merge with smaller factions of the far-left and form a New Anticapitalist Party. It was founded in 1974, after its forerunner the Communist League was banned in 1973; the Communist League was itself founded in 1969 after the Revolutionary Communist Youth, banned in 1968, had merged with Pierre Frank's Internationalist Communist Party. The group included members of other Trotskyist tendencies who were able to organise within its ranks to gain support for their views, its official spokespersons were Alain Krivine, Roseline Vachetta, who are former members of the European Parliament, Olivier Besancenot, the party's candidate for the presidential elections in 2002 and 2007. A major issue in the party's latter years was the possibility and conditions of electoral alliances with other left wing forces, such as the fellow Trotskyist party Lutte Ouvrière.
In the past the two had at times run joint candidates, at times ran separately. In a situation where massive campaigns against government policy have brought millions into the streets, but established political parties have lost a lot of credibility, the idea of unifying the radical Left in an electoral alliance was much discussed. There were for example talks for an alliance with the French Communist Party, after both parties worked together on the victorious campaign of the'No' in the 2005 French referendum on the Constitution of the European Union. Relations between the two parties had been improving since Marie-George Buffet took over the leadership of the PCF. LCR militants worked within left-wing groups such as ATTAC and the Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques trade unions, although both are independent from political parties; the Revolutionary Communist League was the leading force in the creation of the New Anticapitalist Party, launched in June 2008, intended to unify the parties and movements of the far left.
On 5 February 2009, 87,1% of party members voted to dissolve the Revolutionary Communist League, with 11.5% voting against. The dissolution was intended to enable the LCR to become the New Anticapitalist Party. Alain Krivine, one of the party's founders, said: "We're not dissolving, as such. We'll continue the revolutionary struggle, with a tool that's much better suited for it than the LCR." In France's 2002 presidential election, the LCR's candidate Olivier Besancenot won 4.25% of the vote. Thus the far left gained a total of more than 10%; the run-off election provided voters with only a choice between the right-wing Chirac and the far-right Le Pen. The left in its vast majority voted for Chirac; the LCR did not call for abstention: the LCR campaigned to "minimize the vote to Le Pen". The LCR campaign was run under the slogan "Beat Le Pen on the streets and in the ballot box". A minority within the LCR were opposed to this slogan, believing that it amounted to a call to vote for Chirac. For the 2007 French presidential election, the LCR's candidate was again Olivier Besancenot, gaining around 4.1% at the first round.
As he fell under the 5% barrier, the state did not cover the campaign's expenses above 800,000 euros. However, as the party spent approximatively this sum, according to Pierre-François Grond, a member of the direction, it will not be financially affected by Besancenot's lower score. Alain Krivine Daniel Bensaïd Olivier Besancenot Michael Lowy Catherine Samary Philippe Poutou Politics of France Lutte Ouvrière Workers' Party Jeunesses communistes révolutionnaires Trotskisme en France Official website
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France. The municipality of Bordeaux proper has a population of 252,040. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Bordeaux is the centre of the Bordeaux Métropole. With 1,195,335 in the metropolitan area, it is the sixth-largest in France, after Paris, Lyon and Lille, it is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" or "Bordelaises"; the term "Bordelais" may refer to the city and its surrounding region. Being at the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region, Bordeaux remains a prominent powerhouse and exercises significant influence on the world wine industry although no wine production is conducted within the city limits, it is home to the world's main wine fair and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century.
The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France. In historical times, around 567 BC it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges Vivisci, who named the town Burdigala of Aquitanian origin; the name Bourde is still the name of a river south of the city. In 107 BC, the Battle of Burdigala was fought by the Romans who were defending the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe allied to Rome, the Tigurini led by Divico; the Romans were defeated and their commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus, was killed in the action. The city fell under Roman rule around its importance lying in the commerce of tin and lead, it became capital of Roman Aquitaine, flourishing during the Severan dynasty. In 276 it was sacked by the Vandals. Further ravage was brought by the same Vandals in 409, the Visigoths in 414, the Franks in 498, beginning a period of obscurity for the city.
In the late 6th century, the city re-emerged as the seat of a county and an archdiocese within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks, but royal Frankish power was never strong. The city started to play a regional role as a major urban center on the fringes of the newly founded Frankish Duchy of Vasconia. Around 585, Gallactorius is fighting the Basque people; the city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732 after they stormed the fortified city and overwhelmed the Aquitanian garrison. Duke Eudes mustered a force ready to engage the Umayyads outside Bordeaux taking them on in the Battle of the River Garonne somewhere near the river Dordogne; the battle had a high death toll. Although Eudes was defeated here, he saved part of his troops and kept his grip on Aquitaine after the Battle of Poitiers. In 735, the Aquitanian duke Hunald led a rebellion after his father Eudes's death, at which Charles responded by sending an expedition that captured and plundered Bordeaux again, but did not retain it for long.
The following year, the Frankish commander descended again to Aquitaine, but clashed in battle with the Aquitanians and left to take on hostile Burgundian authorities and magnates. In 745, Aquitaine faced yet another expedition by Charles's sons Pepin and Carloman, against Hunald, the Aquitanian princeps strong in Bordeaux. Hunald was defeated, his son Waifer replaced him, confirmed Bordeaux as the capital city. During the last stage of the war against Aquitaine, it was one of Waifer's last important strongholds to fall to King Pepin the Short's troops. Next to Bordeaux, Charlemagne built the fortress of Fronsac on a hill across the border with the Basques, where Basque commanders came over to vow loyalty to him. In 778, Seguin was appointed count of Bordeaux undermining the power of the Duke Lupo, leading to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass that year. In 814, Seguin was made Duke of Vasconia, but he was deposed in 816 for failing to suppress or sympathise with a Basque rebellion. Under the Carolingians, sometimes the Counts of Bordeaux held the title concomitantly with that of Duke of Vasconia.
They were meant to keep the Basques in check and defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings when the latter appeared c. 844 in the region of Bordeaux. In Autumn 845, count Seguin II marched on the Vikings, who were assaulting Bordeaux and Saintes, but he was captured and executed. No bishops were mentioned during part of the 9th in Bordeaux. From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux regained importance following the marriage of Duchess Eléonore of Aquitaine with the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who became, within months of their wedding, King Henry II of England; the city flourished due to the wine trade, the cathedral of St. André was built, it was the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince, but in the end, after the Battle of Castillon, it was annexed by France which extended its territory. The Château Trompette and the Fort du Hâ, built by Charles VII of France, were the symbols of the new domination, which however deprived the city of its wealth by halting the wine commerce with England.
In 1462, Bordeaux obtained a parliament, but regained importance only in the 16th century when it became the centre of the distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine. Bordeaux adhered to the Fronde
2010 French regional elections
Regional elections were held in France on 14 and 21 March 2010. At stake were the presidencies of each of France's 26 régions, though they do not have legislative autonomy, manage sizable budgets; the elections resulted in significant gains for the French Socialist Party and its allies, who went on to control 21 of the 22 regions of Metropolitan France. Following the 2004 elections, which saw an historic victory of the left led by the PS, only Alsace and Corsica were still run by the UMP; the left made gains in the national level in 2007, performed in the 2008 municipal and cantonal elections. In metropolitan France, all incumbent left-wing Presidents are running for a second term in an election which favours popular incumbents and anti-government voting. Yet, the left is divided between the PS and Europe Ecology, which performed strongly in the 2009 European elections; the right, principally the UMP and its allies, were victorious in the 2007 presidential and legislative elections and in the 2009 European elections.
The right is favoured by its unity, notably by its new alliances with Philippe de Villiers' Movement for France and Frédéric Nihous' Hunting, Nature, Tradition. Yet, with this newfound unity, the right lacks a large vote reserve in the eventuality of a second round, where it could count only on partial support from supporters of the centrist MoDem and the far-right FN. In addition, the growing unpopularity of President Nicolas Sarkozy could have hurt the right in an election where voters tend to sanction the incumbent government in Paris. On the far-right, The National Front has been weakened by its previous electoral failures since 2007, but remains a significant force in French politics; the parties to the left of the PS were divided over their electoral strategy. On one side, the far-left and the New Anticapitalist Party refuse to participate in an executive led by the PS; the PCF decided to continue the Left Front with the Left Party, first tested in the 2009 European elections. These lists would be independent in the first round, but would support with a Socialist-led list in the runoff on the condition that the centrist MoDem doesn't do likewise.
Yet, the final decision on the matter was transferred to the regional party members. In 17 of 22 regions, members approved the decision of an expanded Left Front; these regions are Burgundy, Champagne-Ardenne, Lower Normandy and Brittany. In these regions, dissident Communists joined with the NPA and the PG to create independent lists for the first round; the NPA's members voted on the party's strategy in December, the independence strategy of the majority received support from only 36.3% of members, with 31.5% voting to continue discussions with the PCF-PG in the aim of obtaining a deal, 28.5% rejected all talks with the FG. The NPA's executive opted to support independent lists of the "left of the left" in all regions in the first round and agreed to'technical fusions' with other left-wing lists in the runoff, without agreeing to participate in regional executives. In 11 regions, the NPA will fight alone, notably against a Left Front list. However, in three regions – Languedoc-Roussillon and Pays-de-la-Loire, the NPA opted to support a Left Front list by the first round.
In three of the five regions where the PCF opted to support the PS by the first round, lists with the support of the PG were formed. Contrarily to 2004, when it had run common lists with the LCR, the Workers' Struggle is running independent lists in all regions in 2010; the Socialist Party was not able to renew the unity of the left behind it by the first round like in 2004. It received some support from dissident ecologists, as well as the support of the French Communist Party in four regions, it does have the support of the Left Radical Party in all regions except Brittany. In Poitou-Charentes, Ségolène Royal integrated five MoDem candidates on her lists. All the party's incumbents, except for the controversial Georges Frêche, were re-nominated; the PS, with Hélène Mandroux, will oppose Georges Frêche's list in Languedoc-Roussillon. Strong from its excellent result in the European elections, the Europe Ecology coalition was renewed around the Greens and associated parties and movements. Europe Ecology will run independently in all regions, with the intention of supporting the left in runoffs.
However, the party's ultimate goal would be to wrest control of a major region, such as Île-de-France from the PS. The coalition's candidates include the researcher Philippe Meirieu, magistrate Laurence Vichnievsky, the rural activist François Dufour or Augustin Legrand of the homeless' association les Enfants de Don Quichotte; the Independent Ecological Alliance, after winning 3.6% in the European elections, is running independent lists in 10 regions. The AEI signed electoral deals with Europe Ecology in Alsace and Midi-Pyrénées, with the MoDem in Auvergne, Franche-Comté, Pays-de-la-Loire and Poitou-Charentes. Corinne Lepage's Cap21, despite being a component of the MoDem, the party ended up supporting Europe Ecology over the MoDem. After the deceiving result of the European elections, François Bayrou's MoDem decided to run autonomous lists in all regions by the first round but chose to clarify its runoff strategy only after the first round. However, due to Bayrou's strong opposition to Nicolas Sarkozy, it is deemed unlikely that
Socialist Party (France)
The Socialist Party is a social-democratic political party in France and was, for decades, the largest party of the French centre-left. The PS used to be one of the two major political parties in the French Fifth Republic, along with the Republicans; the Socialist Party replaced the earlier French Section of the Workers' International in 1969, is led by First Secretary Olivier Faure. The PS is a member of the Party of European Socialists, the Socialist International and the Progressive Alliance; the PS first won power in 1981, when its candidate François Mitterrand was elected President of France in the 1981 presidential election. Under Mitterrand, the party achieved a governing majority in the National Assembly from 1981 to 1986 and again from 1988 to 1993. PS leader Lionel Jospin lost his bid to succeed Mitterrand as president in the 1995 presidential election against Rally for the Republic leader Jacques Chirac, but became prime minister in a cohabitation government after the 1997 parliamentary elections, a position Jospin held until 2002, when he was again defeated in the presidential election.
In 2007, the party's candidate for the presidential election, Ségolène Royal, was defeated by conservative UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. The Socialist party won most of regional and local elections and it won control of the Senate in 2011 for the first time in more than fifty years. On 6 May 2012, François Hollande, the First Secretary of the Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008, was elected President of France, the next month, the party won the majority in the National Assembly; the PS formed several figures who acted at the international level: Jacques Delors, the eighth President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1994 and the first person to serve three terms in that office, was from the Socialist Party, as well as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 2007 to 2011, Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization from 2005 to 2013. The party had 42,300 members in 2016, down from 60,000 in 2014 and 173,486 members in 2012.
The defeat of the Paris commune reduced the power and influence of the socialist movements in France. Its leaders were exiled. France's first socialist party, the Federation of the Socialist Workers of France, was founded in 1879, it was characterised as "possibilist". Two parties split off from it: in 1882, the French Workers' Party of Jules Guesde and Paul Lafargue in 1890 the Revolutionary Socialist Workers' Party of Jean Allemane. At the same time, the heirs of Louis Auguste Blanqui, a symbol of the French revolutionary tradition, created the Central Revolutionary Committee led by Édouard Vaillant. There were some declared socialist deputies such as Alexandre Millerand and Jean Jaurès who did not belong to any party. In 1899, the participation of Millerand in Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau's cabinet caused a debate about socialist participation in a "bourgeois government". Three years Jaurès, Allemane and the possibilists founded the possibilist French Socialist Party, which supported participation in government, while Guesde and Vaillant formed the Socialist Party of France, which opposed such co-operation.
In 1905, during the Globe Congress, the two groups merged in the French Section of the Workers International. Leader of the parliamentary group and director of the party paper L'Humanité, Jaurès was its most influential figure; the party was hemmed in between the middle-class liberals of the Radical Party and the revolutionary syndicalists who dominated the trade unions. Furthermore, the goal to rally all the Socialists in one single party was reached: some elects refused to join the SFIO and created the Republican-Socialist Party, which supported socialist participation in liberal governments. Together with the Radicals, who wished to install laicism, the SFIO was a component of the Left Block without to sit in the government. In 1906, the General Confederation of Labour trade union claimed its independence from all political parties; the French socialists were anti-war, but following the assassination of Jaurès in 1914 they were unable to resist the wave of militarism which followed the outbreak of World War I.
They suffered a severe split over participation in the wartime government of national unity. In 1919 the anti-war socialists were defeated in elections. In 1920, during the Tours Congress, the majority and left wing of the party broke away and formed the French Section of the Communist International to join the Third International founded by Vladimir Lenin; the right wing, led by Léon Blum, kept the "old house" and remained in the SFIO. In 1924 and in 1932, the Socialists joined with the Radicals in the Coalition of the Left, but refused to join the non-Socialist governments led by the Radicals Édouard Herriot and Édouard Daladier; these governments failed because the Socialists and the Radicals could not agree on economic policy, because the Communists, following the policy laid down by the Soviet Union, refused to support governments presiding over capitalist economies. The question of the possibility of a government participation with Radicals caused the split of "neosocialists" at the beginning of the 1930s.
They merged with the Republican-Socialist Party in the Socialist Republican Union. In 1934, the Communists changed their line, the four left-wing parties came together in the Popular Front, which won the 1936 elections and brought Blum to power as France's first SFIO Prime Minister. Indeed, for the first time in its history, the SFIO obtained more votes and seats than the Ra