FRENCH POLITICS

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo launches bid for French presidency

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is tipped to win the nomination of France's Socialist party later this month.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is tipped to win the nomination of France's Socialist party later this month. AFP - THOMAS SAMSON

Paris Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Sunday threw her hat in the ring for France's 2022 presidential elections, though polls indicate she faces an uphill battle unless she can unite the fractured political left.

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"Knowing the seriousness of our times and to give hope to our lives, I have decided to be candidate for the French presidency," the 62-year-old said, surrounded by supporters and her campaign team in the Normandy city of Rouen.

"Today, I am ready."

Hidalgo, who was elected to a second mayoral term in June, will need to go through an internal primary vote of Socialist Party (PS) members at the end of the month before she is confirmed.

She faces potential competition from Le Mans Mayor Stéphane Le Foll, but has the backing of PS first secretary Olivier Faure.

Hidalgo also joins a long list of candidates on the divided French left that include Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of the far-left France Unbowed party, Fabien Roussel, head of the Communist Party and Arnaud Montebourg, a former PS minister who will not take part in the party’s primary. 

Popularity polls

An Ipsos poll this month gave Hidalgo a popularity rating of 9 percent, which put her in fifth position compared to other presidential hopefuls.

French President Emmanuel Macron's popularity saw a small boost.

Seven months out from presidential elections, Ipsos said Macron remained in a “much better position” than his two predecessors at the same stage of their five-year terms.

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