Can Mélenchon unite the French left?

Paris Shortly before the first round of the French presidential election I was handed a campaign flyer by one of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s activists. On one side was his photo and on the reverse the headline: ‘With Jean-Luc Mélenchon another world is possible.’ What sort of world? A leftist utopia in which the minimum wage would be raised from its current €1,302 to €1,400 net per month, new hospitals would be built, the retirement age would be lowered to 60, and there would be a fixed price for petrol, food and energy prices. Oh, and there would also be a Sixth Republic. Quite how Mélenchon would pay for all this, given

Boris is in danger of becoming Britain’s François Hollande

Last week’s by-election result in Chesham and Amersham was a slap in the face for Boris Johnson. Fortunately it was a figurative one, unlike the punishment dished out to Emmanuel Macron by a disgruntled voter the previous week during a presidential walkabout. But it’s the fate of Macron’s predecessor in the Elysee that should focus Conservative minds in the wake of their chastisement in Chesham. A decade ago, François Hollande was in the early stage of campaigning for the 2012 presidential election. He styled himself as ‘Monsieur Normal’, a welcome contrast to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, long tipped as the man who would lead the Socialists to victory in the election. That