French left agrees in principle on rare coalition deal to take on Macron
France's Socialist party and the hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI) party have reached an agreement in principle to ally the June parliament vote, LFI politician Adrien Quatennens said on Franceinfo radio on Wednesday (May 4).
The coalition deal, shaped under the leadership of hard-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon, is an attempt to deprive Macron of a majority in parliament in the June 12-19 vote and block his pro-business agenda.
Melenchon, a radical eurosceptic, has managed to unite the Greens, the Communists and the Socialists under a new banner that could raise eyebrows across the EU, as its platform aims to challenge the main tenets of the bloc's economic policies.
A source in the Socialist Party said that there was a deal on who would run in what constituency and on the overall strategy, but negotiators still needed to finalise a deal on the programme itself.
The deal would then need to be approved by the Socialist Party's national committee.
LFI earlier made similar deals with the French Greens and the Communists, creating a united front under the leadership of Melenchon. The deal, if confirmed, will unite parties that have run separately in elections since the left-green coalition deal of 1997-2002.
The latest Harris Interactive poll showed the two sides are neck and neck, with both a united left and an alliance between Macron's party and the conservatives seen garnering 33% of the legislative vote. However, in France's two-round election system, projections show this could still translate into a majority of seats for the president.
Policies of the new alliance, which will run under the "Social and Ecological People's Union," also include plans to lower the retirement age to 60, raise the minimum wage and cap prices on essential products.