In Sunday’s election, France’s neoliberalized Socialist Party slumped to a pathetic 2 percent support. Yet the overall left-wing vote increased — all thanks to Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Insoumise, whose transformative program inspired millions.
Manuel Cervera-Marzal is a sociologist at Liège University (Belgium).
Jean-Luc Mélenchon has long sought to rally blue-collar voters he labels “fed up, not fascists.” Yet his movement has faced an uphill battle countering disaffection with politics — and the growing media dominance of far-right talking points.
Upon its creation in 2014, Podemos insisted it was nothing like the political parties that had long dominated Spain. Today, Pablo Iglesias’s party looks like an ever-more institutionalized force — yet one whose activists continue to see themselves as belonging to a “social movement” from below.