Plaid Cymru’s sister parties in the the Green/European Free Alliance group made major break-throughs in Sunday’s elections to the French National Assembly. The election of Paul Molac of the UDB (Unvaniezh Demokratel Breizh / Union Démocratique Bretonne) in Ploërmel is the first time ever that a Breton nationalist has been elected to the French parliament. For the UDB, this is a “Carmarthen 1966” moment. Molac got 52.56% of the vote for a Left coalition. He will sit with 17 Greens in the National Assembly - their largest ever group. (They had three in the previous chamber).
In Corsica, EFA's Partitu di a Nazione Corsa (PNC) members, Jean-Christophe Angelini and Gilles Simeoni polled well for the Femu a Corsica coalition, although Sarkozy’s party narrowly retained both seats. PNC currently has an MEP - François Alfonsi - and 5 members of the Assemblée territoriale de la Corse.
EFA parties worked with various local coalitions of Greens – Europe Écologie – and Hollande’s Parti socialiste (PS) across France. Their electoral strategy was to mobilise the left of centre vote plus the ‘autonomist’ vote behind a single candidate. The two-round French parliamentary election system that in the past excluded smaller parties seemed to work to their advantage this time.
The PS gained a majority in the Chamber of Deputies for the first time since the 1980s (when they last held the Presidency). They now have the majority there as well as in the Senate. They have done so well that they may not need the Green / EFA group to govern, but our 18-strong group will support the presidential programme for sustainable growth and the rejection of austerity.