By selecting a candidate, France’s Socialist Party wanted to bond and ensure its political survival. But things didn’t go that way, the nomination race is splitting the party. France’s political landscape is transforming in the process and the socialists are unlikely to govern again for decades to come.
This weekend the left-wing Benoît Hamon and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls face off in a second round of voting. Mr. Hamon has a better chance of securing a majority.
The two candidates have no common ground. Mr. Hamon is calling for an unconditional basic income and wants to abandon any policies that would consolidate state finances. He condemned the last five years of socialist government policy as a neoliberal aberration. Last year he tried to topple Mr. Valls in parliament with a no-confidence vote. The hostility couldn’t be more obvious.