Factbox – Key figures to know in the left-wing French bloc New Popular Front


(Reuters) – France’s left-wing New Popular Front (NFP), an alliance of parties hastily formed after President Emmanuel Macron called surprise early parliamentary elections, but appeared to surprisingly win against the far right and the ruling centrists on Sunday.

If the initial forecasts are confirmed, Macron will have to appoint a prime minister from within the bloc. The initial estimates are generally accurate.

The NFP – made up of the Communist Party, the far-left France Unbowed, the Green Party and the Socialist Party – has not said who will be prime minister. Below are some of the best-known figures:


Jean-Luc Melenchon, 72, has been a fixture in left-wing politics in France for decades and has held ministerial posts in the past when he was a member of the Socialist Party.

He ran for president in 2012, 2017 and 2022, improving his score each time. In 2022, he came in third, just behind far-right leader Marine Le-PenMacron won that election.

A fiery orator, Melenchon is one of the most divisive figures in French politics, enthusing some voters while scaring others with his unbridled tax and spending proposals, class-war rhetoric and controversial foreign policy positions, particularly on Gaza. Critics accuse him of anti-Semitism, which he denies.


Tondelier, 37, grew up in Henin-Beaumont, a town in northern France known as a stronghold of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) and its leader Le Pen.

Tondelier has a long history of opposition to the Royal Navy.

In 2014, she was elected as an opposition member of the city’s city council. She documented her experiences under an RN mayor and what she described as the oppressive atmosphere created by the far-right administration in a 2017 book titled “News from the Front.”

Tondelier was also elected to a northern regional council in 2021 and the following year she became leader of France’s best-known environmental party, the Greens.


Raphael Glucksmann, 44, topped the Socialist candidate list for the European elections in early June. The party won almost 14% of the vote, just behind Macron’s Together group. It was seen as a sign of revival for a party that ruled France for decades but had recently fallen into electoral obscurity.

Glucksmann attended prestigious schools and pursued a career in journalism and broadcasting before moving in different directions, including becoming an advisor to then Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

He advocates strong European support for Ukraine in resisting the Russian invasion.


Laurent Berger, 55, is a former head of one of France’s main unions, the moderate CFDT, and has a record of strong opposition to the RN.

Berger has said he does not want to be prime minister, but others on the left have put his name forward, saying he could be a unifying figure and a popular alternative to Melenchon.

(Written by Estelle Shirbon and Richard Lough; Edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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