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The Rise and Fall of Benoît Hamon

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Back in the beginning of the year, there were big hopes for socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon. In the first round of voting on Sunday April 23rd, Hamon finished with only 6.35% of the vote, eliminating him from the race.

He had a surprising victory when he beat out former Prime Minister Manuel Valls in the socialist primary and was being called by some the “Bernie Sanders” of the French election.

Since then however, Hamon slowly and steadily dropped in the polls, until just before the first round of the election he was polling at under 10%, leaving leftist voters wondering what was happening to the socialist party in France.

Because of the extreme low popularity of current President François Hollande, among other reasons, it seems that even someone as young and energetic as Hamon could not bring voters back to the splintering socialist party. Voters seem to want to vote for candidates who many considered outsiders like Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, or even Emmanuel Macron.

The one question on everyone’s mind is whether or not this election will signify the death of the socialist party, a political party that has had a long history and impact on French politics.

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