When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Will The French Left Do The Right Thing?

Leftists in France will not vote Le Pen on Sunday. But will they vote Macron?

Jillian Deutsch

PARIS — The French Left doesn't have a candidate of its own for the country's presidential election runoff on Sunday.

The choice of the ruling Socialists, Benoît Hamon, scored an abysmal 6.4% in the first round of the vote, which some have predicted could lead to the death of the longstanding party of the establishment Left. Many would-be Hamon voters opted instead for far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who garnered a surprising 19.6%, but still came in fourth place.

That leaves "la gauche" with a choice: far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen or pro-business centrist Emmanuel Macron.

For virtually all of the self-identified leftists, it is clear that voting for Le Pen is not an option. The question is whether they will vote for Macron, or abstain. A report on Tuesday showed that two-thirds of Mélenchon supporters planned to do the latter.

Others, in the meantime, may have gotten a nudge from Charlie Hebdo — the iconoclastic satirical weekly targeted in the 2015 deadly terrorist attack — which features a memorable cover this week. For the first time in memory, the magazine chose not to feature the work of a cartoonist on the cover: "Do we really need to make a drawing?" it asked rhetorically, using the French-language equivalent of "Do we really need to spell it out?"

The latest front pages from Left-leaning daily Libération were more explicit. Yesterday it was: "Why it is still NO" with a looming photo of Le Pen. Today's cover line reads: "Journey to the End of the Neither/Nor," a reference to Louis-Ferdinand Céline's 1932 novel.

Back in 2002, when Marine Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, passed the first round of the French election with more than 16% of the vote, to face center-right President Jacques Chirac, the Left almost unanimously rallied around Chirac, who won the second round with a whopping 82.2%.

Though polls show Macron with a sizeable 20-point lead, analysts caution that there is still much uncertainty around those on the Left who will actually vote for Macron despite their objections. One 32-year-old Mélenchon supporter told Libération that she will not vote for Macron on Sunday.

Voting against Marine Le Pen is the best way to be able to democratically fight against Emmanuel Macron.

"He is part of the system, of the oligarchy," Claire Bossuet of the southern city of Toulon, told the daily. "What really scares me is that voting Macron will put us to sleep for five years, and then the problem will be the same."

Another Mélenchon supporter, however, plans to cast his vote for Macron as the ultimate safeguard of French democracy. "I will vote against Marine Le Pen, which requires voting for Emmanuel Macron," said Baudouin Woehl, a student in Paris. "He will be the guarantor of the institutions that provide me with the means to oppose his policies. Voting against Marine Le Pen is the best way to be able to democratically fight against Emmanuel Macron."

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest