Independent Republicans

The Independent Republicans (French: Républicains Indépendants, RI) were a liberal-conservative political group in France founded in 1962, which became a political party in 1966 known as the National Federation of the Independent Republicans (Fédération nationale des républicains et indépendants, FNRI). Its leader was Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

Independent Republicans
Républicains Indépendants
PresidentValéry Giscard d'Estaing
  • December 6, 1962; 61 years ago (1962-12-06)[a]
  • June 1, 1966; 57 years ago (1966-06-01)[b]
DissolvedMay 20, 1977; 46 years ago (1977-05-20)
Split fromNational Centre of Independents and Peasants
Succeeded byRepublican Party
IdeologyLiberal conservatism[1]
Political positionCentre-right
Colours  Navy

In 1977 it became the Republican Party which joined the Union for French Democracy (UDF) the following year.

History edit

The Independent Republicans came from the liberal-conservative National Centre of Independents and Peasants (CNIP). In 1962, the CNIP chose to leave Charles de Gaulle's coalition due to his Euroscepticism and the presidential of the regime. But, the CNIP ministers refused to leave the cabinet and the "presidential majority". Under the leadership of the Minister of Economy and Finances Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, they created the group of the Independent Republicans. It was the small partner of the Gaullists which tried to influence the executive's policy in favour of economic liberalism and European federalism.

The relation with the Gaullists tensed when Giscard was dismissed from the cabinet in 1966. The group became a political party, the National Federation of the Independent Republicans (FNRI), directed by the general secretary Michel Poniatowski. Giscard defined the Independent Republicans as "liberal, centrist and pro-European". It stood in the parliamentary majority, but chosen a critical attitude. Giscard summed up his opinion about the Gaullist policy by a "yes, but...".

In 1969, the party divided about the referendum of regionalisation and Senate's reform. Giscard called to vote "no". President de Gaulle resigned when the "no" won. The FNRI supported the winning candidacy of Georges Pompidou for the presidency and its leader re-integrated the cabinet as Economy Minister.

In 1974, after President Pompidou's death, Giscard announced his candidacy at the 1974 presidential election. It was supported by the FNRI, the Reform Movement and, covertly, by some Gaullists. He eliminated Gaullist Jacques Chaban-Delmas in the first round and then defeated Socialist François Mitterrand in the run-off.

Three years later, the FNRI was replaced by the Republican Party (PR) which became the liberal-conservative wing of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) created in 1978.

Election results edit

Presidential edit

Election Candidate First round Second round Result
Votes % Votes %
1974 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing 8,326,774 32.60 13,396,203 50.81 Won

National Assembly edit

Election Leader 1st round 2nd round Seats +/− Government
Votes % Votes %
1962 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing 1,089,348 5.94 1,444,666 9.46
27 / 491
  27 Presidential majority
1967 8,448,082 37.73 7,972,908 42.60
42 / 491
  15 Presidential majority
1968 9,667,532 43.65 6,762,170 46.39
61 / 491
  19 Presidential majority
1973 8,242,661 34.68 10,701,135 45.62
55 / 491
  6 Presidential majority

Notes edit

  1. ^ as the Study and Liaison Committee of Independent Republicans
  2. ^ as the National Federation of the Independent Republicans

References edit

  1. ^ David Hanley (1999). "France: Living with Instability". In David Broughton (ed.). Changing Party Systems in Western Europe. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-85567-328-1. Retrieved 21 August 2012.