Hamon Faces Battle for Socialist Party Support

Hamon Faces Battle for Socialist Party SupportHamon Faces Battle for Socialist Party Support

French Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon is struggling to get his presidential campaign back on track, as a growing number of party bigwigs publicly consider voting instead for centrist Emmanuel Macron, a former economy minister. A leftist modernizer, Hamon was seen as a chance to breathe new life into France's battered ruling party with a bold platform that included a universal basic income and a tax on profits reaped from automated labor, France24 reported.

But with the first round of voting just over a month away, the Socialist candidate has been struggling to get his message across during a volatile campaign dominated by conservative candidate Francois Fillon's fake-job scandal and the self-styled anti-establishment pitches of both Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Hamon's flagging presidential bid is facing more than adverse winds. The former "frondeur", as the party’s dissident leftists are known, now has to deal with a mutiny in the making. Several Socialist politicians, including prominent lawmakers and mayors, have publicly threatened to throw their support behind Macron. The latest Socialist heavyweight to defect was former Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who said on Wednesday that he would back Macron because Hamon’s “dangerous” platform was not able to “bring the left together”.

The telegenic Macron, a 39-year-old former economy minister, has struck a chord with pro-business voters disillusioned with the ailing parties representing the traditional right and left of French politics.

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