Welcome to the French Dispatch
My name is Julien Hoez and this is The French Dispatch, a newsletter that is going to be focusing on French politics in its national, European, and global contexts.
This newsletter will primarily be focusing on the 2022 Presidential Elections, where Emmanuel Macron is (unofficially) attempting to achieve re-election in an increasingly competitive political arena, and the juggernauts of the French political scene are suffering similar challenges to their authority and their power across the board.
Marine Le Pen’s domination of the far-right, and her influence over the disenfranchised in society is facing a serious challenge by the new kid on the electoral block, Eric Zemmour. A journalist known for his position amongst the right and the far-right, he is attempting to position himself as the champion of a sovereign France that should unshackled itself from all foreign influence.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s domination of the left, underpinned by a powerful media strategy combined with a strong militant base, has been further eroded following the electoral implosion of La France Insoumise in the 2019 European Parliament elections. He has found himself hamstrung by the partial recovery of Anne Hidalgo’s Parti Socialiste and an ever present Europe Écologie-Les Verts, both of whom have flirted with an electoral alliance and the formation of a left-bloc to challenge the President.
On the right, the country is waiting to see who will be the challenger from Les Républicains, the party of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. With the party on the road to a party congress where a decision will be made between candidates such as is-he-isn’t-he pro-Europen Michel Barnier, rising star Xavier Bertrand, security focused Valérie Pécresse, and others who want to avenge the defeat that they suffered at the hands of the current president.
With things moving rapidly, and polls showing shifts in the ground beneath our candidates, this newsletter will focus on weekly updates of the French political scene, giving you an insight into events as they happen, whilst also building profiles of the candidates as they unveil their programmes and set out their electoral stall.
If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to subscribe to this newsletter, and if you have any request, please feel free to leave a comment or to contact me over on twitter.
I believe we are in the same Substack Go group, starting up tomorrow, hence my signup to your stack. As an informed Canadian and former Québecois, I am more interested in French politics than most folks here on the west coast. Thanks!