Benoît Hamon, who has been called France’s Bernie Sanders, won the socialist party primary on Sunday to represent the socialist party in this year’s presidential election. Hamon won 58% of the vote, compared to former Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ 41%.
“Tonight the left turns towards the future,” said Hamon in his acceptance speech, acknowledging the fact that the reason his campaign appealed to voters was because of his own idealism, and hope for a progressive future. His win could also have something to do with his distance from President François Hollande’s administration, which Manuel Valls was fully entrenched in.
In the election, Hamon will be up against conservative François Fillon (if he does not withdraw, after his recent scandal), the extremist National Front leader Marine Le Pen, former economic minister Emmanuel Macron who is running for his own party called En Marche!, and the extremely left Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Currently, the socialist party is not high in the polls, but with Hamon chosen as their candidate it is possible that the polls will change.
Watch France24’s airing of Hamon’s acceptance speech: