Manuel Valls lost in the first round of the legislative elections, coming third in the fifth constituency of French people living abroad, where he was invested by the majority. Since 2017 and his departure from Matignon, under François Hollande, the former Prime Minister has chained electoral disappointments.
“Goodbye Twitter”… and maybe goodbye politics? Sunday evening, Manuel Valls, candidate invested by “Together” (La République en Marche) in the fifth constituency of French people living abroad, was eliminated in the first round of the legislative elections. “If dissidence and division have sown confusion, I cannot ignore my score and the fact that my candidacy did not convince (…) It is up to me lucidly to draw the consequences”he also said – leaving some doubt about whether or not to continue his political career.
A failure which is not the first in recent years: since leaving the post of Prime Minister, the former mayor of Evry (Essonne) and former deputy for Essonne has chained complicated situations, rallies and electoral routs.
The socialist primary and the rallying to Emmanuel Macron
Manuel Valls left Matignon before the end of François Hollande’s mandate: while the outgoing President is renouncing to run again, the Prime Minister, initially opposed to the principle of a primary on the left, ends up lining up behind this idea, and announces his candidacy on December 5, barely five days after the resignation of François Hollande. Bernard Cazeneuve replaces him at Matignon.
Party at the head of the voting intentions, he sees himself competed in particular by Arnaud Montebourg and Benoît Hamon who prove to be more popular among sympathizers (to whom the primary, open, was accessible). So it happens second behind Benoît Hamon in the first round, and refuses to commit to supporting him in the event of defeat. Result: after his failure in the second round, he refuses to sponsor his competitor, and prefers to support Emmanuel Macron from the first round of the presidential election.
A legislative 2017, without the LREM nomination
After the victory of Emmanuel Macron, the deputy of Essonne, who had left his seat in 2012 to his deputy Carlos Da Silva, intends to recover his place. But he wishes to do so with the investiture of the Republic En Marche – without having respected the investiture procedure put in place by the movement. Ultimately, the party of the new president refuses him the nomination, but chooses not to put a candidate in front of him. For its part, the Socialist Party is launching an exclusion procedure, after its refusal to support Benoît Hamon.
Manuel Valls won, but after a long procedure: on the evening of the second round, he was declared the winner with 50.3% of the votes cast. Its competitor, LFI Farida Amrani, is asking for a recount of the votes – but this is not possible, as not all the ballots have been kept. She therefore initiated an appeal to have the vote invalidated, an appeal which was ultimately invalidated by the Constitutional Council. Manuel Valls leaves the PS and joins the LREM group in the National Assembly.
On September 25, 2018, after just over a year in office, Manuel Valls announces that he will leave all his mandates in France, to… be a candidate in the municipal elections in Barcelona, his city of birth. Criticized in particular by the Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont, who claims that he does not know Barcelona well, Manuel Valls – who has joined the Spanish anti-independence party Ciudadanos – came fourth in the ballotwith 13.2% of the vote.
However, he remains in Barcelona, whose outgoing mayor Ada Colau is reappointed (notably thanks to his support). But he is not going to the end of his mandate: on August 31, 2021, he announces that he resigns from his mandate as a municipal councilor.
For the right at the 2021 regionals
Even before his resignation from Barcelona, Manuel Valls had continued to intervene regularly in the media to discuss French politics. Thus, in the first round of the 2021 regional elections, in which he did not take part, he calls to vote for… Valérie Pécressecandidate LR, against the left-wing list led by ecologist Julien Bayou.
Macron’s support again in 2022
After his resignation, he became an editorial writer and columnist for RMC radio and the BFMTV channel. He again supports Emmanuel Macron until the presidential election, and this time succeeds in obtaining an LREM nomination on the fifth constituency of French people living abroad… at the expense of outgoing deputy Stéphane Vojetta, who maintains his candidacy – and therefore came first in the first round of voting.