The Republicans (France)

The Republicans (French: Les Républicains [le ʁepyblikɛ̃]; LR) is a liberal-conservative political party in France, largely inspired by the Gaullist tradition. The party was formed on 30 May 2015 as the re-incorporation of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), which had been established in 2002 under the leadership of then President of France Jacques Chirac.[3][4]

The Republicans
Les Républicains
PresidentÉric Ciotti
Secretary-GeneralAnnie Genevard
Vice PresidentFrançois-Xavier Bellamy
FounderNicolas Sarkozy
Founded30 May 2015; 8 years ago (2015-05-30)
Preceded byUnion for a Popular Movement
Headquarters238 Rue de Vaugirard
Youth wingLes Jeunes Républicains
Membership (2022)Decrease 85,000[1]
Political positionCentre-right
National affiliationUnion of the Right and Centre
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party[2]
  •   Blue
  •   White
  •   Red
National Assembly
61 / 577
148 / 348
European Parliament
7 / 74
Presidencies of regional councils
6 / 17
Presidencies of departmental councils
43 / 94
Website Edit this at Wikidata

LR, as previously the UMP, used to be one of the two major political parties in the French Fifth Republic along with the centre-left Socialist Party. It is the largest party in the Senate since 2014. Its candidate in the 2017 presidential election, former Prime Minister François Fillon, placed third in the first round, with 20% of the vote. Following the 2017 legislative election, LR became the second-largest party in the National Assembly, behind President Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche! party. After disappointing results in the 2019 European Parliament election, party leader Laurent Wauquiez resigned. He was replaced by Christian Jacob, who remained in office until after the 2022 legislative election, which saw LR lose half its seats, although it became the kingmaker in a hung parliament. In the 2022 presidential election, LR nominee Valérie Pécresse placed fifth with 4.7% of the first-round vote, which was deemed disappointing. Éric Ciotti became President of LR after the 2022 leadership election.

LR is a member of the European People's Party (EPP)[5] and the Centrist Democrat International (CDI).[6]

History edit

Origins in the UMP edit

The UMP's (Union for a Popular Movement) change of party name and of party structure was one of the promises made by Nicolas Sarkozy during his campaign for the UMP presidency in 2014.[7] After his election in November 2014, Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France from 2007 to 2012, put forward the request to the party's general committee to change its name to Les Républicains ("The Republicans") and alter the statutes of the party. The proposed statutes provided for, among other provisions, the election of the presidents of the departmental federations by direct democracy and consulting members on election nominations.[8] Nicolas Sarkozy wanted to change the name of the party in order to showcase the reunification of the different political views, from the social Gaullism of Henri Guaino to the right line of Patrick Buisson, into "one family".[9][7][10] As declared in an interview for the Journal du Dimanche, Sarkozy also wished to change the name in order to be ahead of his adversaries Alain Juppé and François Fillon (also belonging to the UMP) for the 2017 presidential elections.[11] This desire for changing the name was not received well by all members of the party. In an interview for BFMTV, Alain Juppé mocked the ex-French President for wanting to change the name of the UMP.[12] Additionally, Gilles Boyer, supporter of François Fillon, showed his reluctance regarding the change of name by tweeting, "We are republicans. We are not THE republicans."[9] This change of name was perceived by some journalists as an attempt to make the public forget the judicial problems linked to the UMP, especially the Bygmalion case, case in which some members of the UMP are suspected to have forged documents over the expenses of Nicolas Sarkozy's 2012 presidential campaign.[13][14][15]

Critics of the name change claimed it was unfair for Sarkozy to name the party "Republicans", because every French person is a republican if they support the values and ideals of the French Republic that emanated from the French Revolution, and as such the term is above party politics.[16] Left-wing associations and parties and 140 individuals, including 5 having "Républicain" as their last name, sued the UMP.[17][16] The court was in favour of the UMP's change in name, stating that the "manifestly unlawful disturbance" and the "imminent damage" alleged by the complainants have not been demonstrated.[17] The new name was adopted by the party bureau on 5 May 2015 and approved by the party membership on 28 May by an online "yes" vote of 83.3% on a 45.7% turnout after a court ruling in favour of Sarkozy.[18]

Founding congress edit

The change to the name "The Republicans" was confirmed at the party's founding congress on 30 May 2015 at the Paris Event Centre in Paris, attended by 10,000 activists.[19] Angela Merkel, chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, sent a congratulatory message to the congress. The Republicans thus became the legal successor of the UMP and the leading centre-right party in France.[20]

The organisation has been declared in the préfecture de Saône-et-Loire on 9 April 2015.[21] According to the statement of this declaration, its aim is to "promote ideas of the right and centre, open to every people who wish to be member and debate in the spirit of a political party with republican ideas in France or outside France".[citation needed] This party foundation was published in the Journal officiel de la République française on 25 April 2015.[22]

2016 to 2018 edit

On 3 July 2016, Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he would resign as leader that year in order to compete to be the centre-right candidate in the 2017 presidential election.[23]

In order to decide which candidate will represent The Republicans for the 2017 presidential elections, a party's primary was organised in November 2016.[24] The activists of the movement could choose between 7 candidates: François Fillion, Alain Juppé, Nicolas Sarkozy, Jean-François Copé, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Frédéric Poisson. François Fillon, with 44,1% of the votes, and Alain Juppé, with 28,6%, were the two candidates qualified for the second round of the election.[24] François Fillon won the second turn of the election with 66,5% of the votes and was therefore appointed as The Republicans' candidate for the presidential election in 2017.[25]

François Fillon suffered a historic defeat in the first round of the presidential election, as he was the first centre-right candidate in the history of the Fifth Republic who failed to continue to the second round.[26] This led to the victory of Emmanuel Macron,[27] leader of his newly created party La République En Marche!.[28] François Fillon finished third in the first round of the presidential election with 20,01% of the vote, behind Emmanuel Macron (24,01%) and Marine le Pen (21,30%).[29] This defeat is mainly due to the Penelopegate scandal, as François Fillon was considered the favourite candidate by the polls before these revelations.[30]

The election victory of Emmanuel Macron in 2017 altered the French political landscape.[31] After Emmanuel Macron was elected as president, he appointed three centre-right politicians in his government from The Republicans, namely Édouard Philippe as Prime Minister, Bruno Le Maire as French Minister of the Economy and Finance, and Gérald Darmanin as Minister of Public Action and Accounts.[31] The fact that three ex-members from The Republicans are now part of the government, has allegedly divided the political party based on views of whether or not the republicans should support the incumbent government.[31] Some members of The Republicans, such as Thierry Solère or Sébastien Lecornu, therefore decided to leave the party in order to join La République En Marche!, the new political party created by Emmanuel Macron.[31] Other members, like Franck Riester or Fabienne Keller, decided to create a new political party: "Agir".[31] Additionally, a parliamentary group including LR dissidents supportive of the government line, "The Constructives", was formed in the National Assembly, separate from the existing group.[32]

A month after the presidential elections, the legislative elections took place in France. In the second round of the legislative elections in June, The Republicans won 112 seats in parliament, which is 82 less than the number of seats won by the UMP in 2012.[33][34] This result was the worst performance of a major centre-right political party in French history.[35]

On 11 July, the political bureau of The Republicans agreed to hold a leadership election for president of the party on 10 and 17 December;[36] Laurent Wauquiez was elected in a single round on the 10th of December, winning 74.64% of the votes.[37] Laurent Wauquiez's election for the head of the Party continued to divide The Republicans as 26 elected officials left the party between his election on the 10th of December and the 21st of February 2018.[38]

Since 2019 edit

On 2 June 2019, a week after overseeing the worst result for the centre-right in its history in the European elections with 8.48% of the vote, Wauquiez announced his resignation as president of The Republicans.[39] On 13 October 2019, Christian Jacob, former Minister of the French Civil Service, was elected as President of the party, taking from interim President Jean Leonetti.[40]

In the 2020 French Senate election, the Republicans held their majority.[41] In 2021 French regional elections, the party managed to retain all regional presidencies.

In December 2021, Valérie Pécresse won the Republican congress, winning the centre-right to be the Republican candidate in the 2022 French presidential election.[42] She earned 4.8% of the 1st round vote, which was under the 5% reimbursement threshold.[43] Consequently, the party's funding was left in a critical condition and Pécresse launched an appeal, having been in €5 million in party debt.[44] In the 2022 French legislative election, the Republicans lost 56 seats and fell from 2nd to 4th place in terms of seats.[45]

In the 2022 leadership election, Éric Ciotti was elected with 53.7% of the votes against his main opponent, Bruno Retailleau, who received 46.3% to become the next leader of the party.[46] Ciotti has largely been described as right-wing and of belonging in the populist faction of the party.[47][48]

Ideology edit

On the political spectrum, the Republicans are positioned on the centre-right,[49][50][51][52][53] although the party has some right-wing factions.[54][55][56][57][58] They are a conservative party,[59][60][61][62] and they have been also described as liberal-conservative due to their liberal stances.[63][64][65] Besides this, they also maintain a Gaullist tradition.[66][65][67]

Overseas territories edit

In Guadeloupe, the Head of List of The Republicans is Sonia Petro.[68] She has also served as the President of the Federation of Republicans of Guadeloupe.[69]

Leadership edit

President edit

No. Name Portrait Began Left
1 Nicolas Sarkozy
30 May 2015 23 August 2016
Laurent Wauquiez
23 August 2016 29 November 2016
Vacant from 29 November 2016 to 10 December 2017
2 Laurent Wauquiez
10 December 2017 2 June 2019
Jean Leonetti
2 June 2019 13 October 2019
3 Christian Jacob   13 October 2019 30 June 2022
Annie Genevard   30 June 2022 11 December 2022
4 Éric Ciotti   11 December 2022 Incumbent

Vice president edit

No. Name Portrait Began Left
1 Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet
30 May 2015 15 December 2015
2 Laurent Wauquiez
15 December 2015 23 August 2016
29 November 2016 10 December 2017
Isabelle Le Callennec
15 December 2015 13 December 2017
3 Virginie Calmels
13 December 2017 17 June 2018
Guillaume Peltier
7 December 2021
Damien Abad
23 October 2019
4 Jean Leonetti
17 June 2018
5 Annie Genevard   6 July 2021 18 January 2023
6 Aurélien Pradié   18 January 2023 18 February 2023
7 François-Xavier Bellamy   18 February 2023 Incumbent

Secretary-general edit

No. Name Portrait Began Left
1 Laurent Wauquiez   30 May 2015 15 December 2015
2 Éric Woerth   15 December 2015 29 November 2016
3 Bernard Accoyer   29 November 2016 13 December 2017
4 Annie Genevard   13 December 2017 23 October 2019
5 Aurélien Pradié   23 October 2019 18 January 2023
6 Annie Genevard   18 January 2023 Incumbent

Treasurer edit

No. Name Portrait Began Left
1 Daniel Fasquelle
30 May 2015 Incumbent

Election results edit

Presidential edit

Presidency of the French Republic
Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round Result
Votes % Rank Votes % Rank
2017 François Fillon 7,212,995 20.01   3rd Lost
2022 Valérie Pécresse 1,679,001 4.79   5th Lost

National Assembly edit

National Assembly
Election year Leader 1st round 2nd round Seats +/− Rank
Votes % Votes %
2017 François Baroin 3,573,427 15.77 4,040,203 22.23
112 / 577
  82   2nd Opposition
2022 Christian Jacob 2,370,811 10.42 1,447,838 6.98
61 / 577
  51   4th Opposition

European Parliament edit

Election year Leader Votes % Seats +/−
2019 François-Xavier Bellamy 1,920,407 8.48
7 / 79

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^
  2. ^ "france | EPP Group in the European Parliament". 2015-12-02. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  3. ^ Bolton, Doug (30 May 2015). "Nicolas Sarkozy changes UMP party's name to The Republicans ahead of political comeback". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
  4. ^ "France's UMP party changes name to The Republicans, boosting Sarkozy". Reuters Editorial. 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  5. ^ "EPP - European People's Party - Member Parties". 50.8398374;4.3671204: European People's Party. Archived from the original on 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2015-12-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  6. ^ "Partidos Archivo". idc-cdi. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  7. ^ a b Richebois, Véronique (2015-06-01). "Comment l'UMP a changé de nom". Les Echos (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  8. ^ Béraud, Anne-Laëtitia (14 April 2015). "L'UMP se dote des statuts du nouveau parti baptisé «Les Républicains". 20 Minutes. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  9. ^ a b Clavaud-Mégevand, Coline (5 May 2015). "Les Républicains: Pourquoi le changement de nom coince à l'UMP?". (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  10. ^ Garat, Jean-Baptiste (2015-04-28). "NKM : pourquoi l'UMP doit s'appeler "Les Républicains"". Le (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  11. ^ Jeudy, Bruno. "Sarkozy au JDD : "Si je réussis, ils ne pourront plus me rattraper"". (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  12. ^ Le Scan Politique (2014-09-23). "Juppé ironise sur le changement nom de l'UMP voulu par Sarkozy". Le (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  13. ^ "VIDEO. UMP : "Pourquoi Nicolas Sarkozy change-t-il le nom de son parti ?"". Franceinfo (in French). 2015-05-17. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  14. ^ "Copé à Sarkozy : "Est-ce bien utile de changer le nom de l'UMP après une telle victoire ?"". L'Obs (in French). 31 March 2015. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  15. ^ "Les quatre principales affaires qui menacent toujours Nicolas Sarkozy". Franceinfo (in French). 2019-05-17. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  16. ^ a b Chrisafis, Angelique (26 May 2015). "France: judges clear way for Sarkozy to rename UMP party Les Républicains". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  17. ^ a b "La justice autorise l'UMP à se rebaptiser " Les Républicains "". Le (in French). 2015-05-26. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  18. ^ Pauline Théveniaud (avec Olivier Beaumont), Congrès des «Républicains» : «Un jour de renaissance», pour Sarkozy Le Parisien, 30 mai 2015
  19. ^ Alexandre Lemarié et Matthieu Goar, Sarkozy met les Républicains en ordre de bataille pour 2017 Le Monde, 30 mai 2015
  20. ^ AFP (29 May 2015). "France's Sarkozy renames UMP party 'The Republicans'". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  21. ^ "Official journal" (PDF). 2015.
  22. ^ No d'annonce : 1214 Paru le : 25/04/2015 Association : LES REPUBLICAINS. Identification R.N.A. : W715002794 No de parution : 20150017 Département (Région) : Saône-et-Loire (Bourgogne) Lieu parution : Déclaration à la préfecture de Saône-et-Loire. Type d'annonce : ASSOCIATION/CREATION
  23. ^ "Nicolas Sarkozy confirms return bid for French presidency". The Guardian. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Primaire à droite : les résultats définitifs du premier tour enfin connus". LCI (in French). 23 November 2016. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  25. ^ Figaro, Le (2016-11-27). "François Fillon remporte largement la primaire de la droite". Le (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  26. ^ Olivier Beaumont (24 April 2017). "VIDEO. Une défaite historique pour François Fillon". Le Parisien. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Emmanuel Macron président : les raisons d'une victoire". France 24 (in French). 2017-05-07. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  28. ^ Poussielgue, Grégoire (2016-04-06). "Emmanuel Macron lance "En Marche !", son mouvement politique". Les Echos (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  29. ^ "Résultats France - Présidentielle 2017 - 1er et 2nd tour". Le (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  30. ^ "Sondage présidentielle 2017 : Fillon devant Le Pen, Valls et Macron mieux placés que Hollande". (in French). 2016-11-29. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  31. ^ a b c d e "Un an après l'élection de Macron, le paysage politique français toujours en recomposition". France 24 (in French). 2018-05-07. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  32. ^ Paul Chaulet (20 June 2017). "L'avenir incertain des députés LR "constructifs" à l'Assemblée nationale". L'Express. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  33. ^ "Résultats élections législatives 2012 France entière". (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  34. ^ "Résultats élections législatives 2017 France entière". (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  35. ^ Marion Mourgue (18 June 2017). "Législatives : un revers historique pour Les Républicains". Le Figaro. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  36. ^ "Les Républicains éliront leur nouveau président en décembre 2017". RTL. Agence France-Presse. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  37. ^ "Laurent Wauquiez élu président du parti Les Républicains". Le (in French). 2017-12-10. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  38. ^ JDD, Le. "Depuis l'élection de Laurent Wauquiez, 26 élus ont quitté les Républicains". (in French). Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  39. ^ "Laurent Wauquiez démissionne de la présidence des Républicains". Le Figaro. 2 June 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  40. ^ "France's troubled conservatives elect new leader". France 24. 13 October 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  41. ^ Chadwick, Lauren (2020-09-27). "French Senate elections: Right and centre parties maintain majority". euronews. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  42. ^ Regny, Diane (4 December 2021). "Présidentielle: Valérie Pécresse investie candidate Les Républicains après sa victoire au congrès" (in French). BFM TV. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  43. ^ Joshua Berlinger and Joseph Ataman (10 April 2022). "Emmanuel Macron to face Marine Le Pen in French presidential election runoff". CNN. Retrieved 2022-04-15.
  44. ^ "Pécresse appeals for help to cover cost of failed French presidential campaign". The Local France. 2022-04-11. Retrieved 2022-04-15.
  45. ^ Xiaofei Xu (12 June 2022). "French parliamentary elections overshadowed by low turnout". CNN. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  46. ^ "France's conservative Républicains elect new leader to revive political fortunes". RFI. 2022-12-12. Retrieved 2022-12-20.
  47. ^ "Right-winger Ciotti wins French conservative party leadership". Reuters. 2022-12-11. Retrieved 2022-12-20.
  48. ^ "French Republicans to shift further right under Ciotti". Emerald Expert Briefings. oxan–db (oxan–db). 2022-01-01. doi:10.1108/OXAN-DB274688. ISSN 2633-304X.
  49. ^ Paris, Adam Sage (17 May 2020). "Emmanuel Macron angers right by invoking Charles de Gaulle in message of unity". The Times. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  50. ^ Hall, Ben (9 May 2021). "Madrid success raises hopes of Europe's struggling centre-right". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  51. ^ "Emmanuel Macron's long road to a second term as French president". RTÉ.ie. 18 May 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2021. These moves would seem to point towards a strategy of siphoning off the RN voters as well those of the centre-right Les Républicains. However, as past elections have demonstrated, this strategy might bolster unintentionally Macron's political rivals.
  52. ^ "François Fillon appears in court over 'fake jobs' scandal". BBC. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2021. Ahead of the 2017 presidential election, he won the centre-right Republican party's presidential primary, and in January 2017 was the clear frontrunner in the polls.
  53. ^ Parrot, Clément (2017-06-12). "Législatives : les cinq raisons de la bérézina de la droite". France Info. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  54. ^ "L'UMP devient « Les Républicains". 15 April 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  55. ^ Baralon, Margaux (1 September 2016). "François Fillon, le plus à droite des Républicains". Europe 1. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  56. ^ Kahn, Jean-François (4 January 2018). "Malgré le miracle Macron, pourquoi la droite Wauquiez pourrait prendre l'avantage en 2018". HuffPost. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  57. ^ "Lagarde (UDI) exclut toute alliance avec Wauquiez (LR)". Libération. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  58. ^ Lebourg, Nicolas (8 December 2017). "La droite et le FN, complémentaires ou adversaires ?". Libération. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  59. ^ Politics (2015-06-02). "Hollande and Sarkozy are battling for the French Presidency — but France doesn't want either of them - Business Insider". Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  60. ^ Noack, Rick. "The 'Republican Party' is coming to France". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  61. ^ "Sarkozy apela a las esencias republicanas para reconquistar el poder". ABC. Spain. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  62. ^ Lichfield, John (27 March 2019). "France's new two-party system: Center vs. Extreme". POLITICO.
  63. ^ "Fillon, le triomphe du libéral-conservatisme". Causeur. 28 November 2016.
  64. ^ "Libéral et conservateur : le programme de François Fillon pour la France". Le Parisien. 22 November 2016.
  65. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "France". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 24 April 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  66. ^ "Les Républicains » : comment Sarkozy veut dépasser la logique de parti". 17 April 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  67. ^ "L'UMP devient "Les Républicains" / France Inter". 15 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  68. ^ "Guadeloupe". les Républicains (in French). 2021-05-05. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  69. ^ "Sonia Pétro se lance dans la bataille des Régionales". Guadeloupe la 1ère (in French). Retrieved 2022-04-14.

External links edit