Going up in the polls, being acclaimed at a famous French Business school, livening up the first presidential debate on Monday, 21 April. Thirty-five days before the first round of the election, France Insoumise’s candidate is gaining followers, at least online.
The enemy of capitalism is acclaimed by students of a famous French Business School. This may sound intriguing or unusual, but Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the far-left candidate of La France Insoumise, was welcomed by a standing ovation during a meeting to present his latest book “De la Vertue”, at Essec Business School, near Paris.
The lecture hall was full, and Mélenchon didn’t hesitate to attack the audience straightaway: “You’re all capitalism’ agents, normally”. To which the audience responded with laughters. The candidate explained he came here on a principle of “humour and self-mockery”, as reported by Le Monde. And for almost two hours, he spoke about political philosophy, explained his programme and his vision of Europe.
High presence on social media
This warm welcome by the students could be linked to his performance during the first presidential debate on Monday. Jean-Luc Mélenchon used jokes to discredit his opponents or gave professorial speeches.
When various online polls asked who was the winner of this first presidential debate, Mélenchon was often the most cited candidate. It is also important to note that Mélenchon’s supporters are particularly active on social media. Mélenchon was the second most searched candidate after Emmanuel Macron on the search engine, according to Google Trends.
On Facebook, the France Insoumise’s candidate has more than 750,000 followers. This is less than Marine Le Pen, who has more than 1m followers, but still more than all nine other candidates. His march for a 6th Republic on the previous Saturday allowed him to gain more than 80,000 followers on Facebook.
Mélenchon takes fourth place in an opinion poll
During the march, Mélenchon gathered tens of thousands of supporters in Paris, between two iconic squares, Place de La Bastille and Place de la République. The event took place on the anniversary of the Paris Commune, an alliance between the middle and working classes who broke into revolt on the 18th of March 1871.
This Thursday, for the first time, Mélenchon comes ahead of Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon in a poll by Presitrack d’Opinionway-ORPI for Les Echos and Radio classique, taking the third place. But opinion polls suggest he has no chance of making it to the second round of France’s presidential ballot on 7 May. On the other hand, most people who have responded to polls say they will vote for Le Pen and Macron.