Invested by the presidential majority in the 5th constituency of French people living abroad, Manuel Valls announced Sunday evening June 5 his elimination in the first round, a new fiasco for the former Prime Minister who had failed to be elected during municipal elections in Barcelona in 2019. “I take note of the results (…) If dissent and division have sown confusion, I cannot ignore my score and the fact that my candidacy did not convince”, said he said on Twitter, calling for the Nupes candidate, Renaud Le Berre, to be blocked in the second round.
“My thanks also go to the presidential majority for its inauguration and support,” wrote the former head of government of François Hollande. “An election is a moment of truth,” he conceded. “It is up to me lucidly to draw the consequences. Life is good enough to quietly turn the pages,” said Manuel Valls. “Farewell Twitter,” he wrote in conclusion on the social network before deleting his account.
The announcement, on May 5, of the investiture of the former Prime Minister had the effect of a bomb in this constituency, especially among the French residing in Spain. Stéphane Vojetta, outgoing deputy wearing the colors of La République en Marche (LREM), had decided to stand up to this “parachuting” while promising, if elected, to remain “a loyal support” of Emmanuel Macron.
Indicating on his Twitter account that he had qualified for the second round, Stéphane Vojetta called on the presidential majority on Sunday evening to “unite behind (his) candidacy”. “But it must also take note of the message sent by voters: a demand for less verticality, more listening to the field, and a real renewal of our practices and our political personnel”, he said. added.
For these legislative elections, Manuel Valls thought he could rally voters thanks to his CV and his network. “My only candidacy put the spotlight on French people living abroad,” he explained in an interview with Agence France Presse in Madrid. “I want the French to benefit from my experience and my influence, (…) from my strong voice”, he hammered.
His failure marks a new setback for this former heavyweight of the socialist party who had left French political life four years ago to try in vain in 2019 for the town hall of Barcelona, his hometown.
Convinced of being able to “win” these municipal elections, after his failure in 2017 in the socialist primaries for the French presidential election, he only came fourth with around 13% of the vote behind the Catalan independence candidate and the outgoing left-wing mayor Ada Colau who been renewed.
In a relationship with Susana Gallardo, wealthy heiress of a Catalan pharmaceutical company, Manuel Valls had finally left the Barcelona city council in 2021 to return to France as a columnist in RMC and BFMTV broadcasts.
This new failure of the former Prime Minister was particularly mocked by the Nupes. “That’s what we call a good Sunday evening to start the last week of the campaign in France! tweeted Manon Aubry, MEP for France Insoumise, while Adrien Quatennens, number two in Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party posted a photo of the LFI leader and other LFI parliamentarians holding up “Good riddance” signs.