Till now it was generally considered that, under the 5th Republic’s 1958 Constitution, the Senate (the Upper House of Parliament) could never swing Left.
However, during the senatorial elections of 25 September last, despite an election system tailored for the Right, the “grand electors” (that is the local councillors and Members of Parliament) elected, for the first time ever, a Left majority to the Senate.
The divisions within the Right, the rejection of government policy, the anger of local councillors at the attacks on local democracy, the financial strangling of the local authorities and public services explain this result. Although the 72,000 “grand electors” cannot be identified with the mass electorate, this unexpected result sounds like a sign of hope for the 2012 elections.
A first positive result: the “golden rule” (introducing the prohibition of public deficits into the Constitution) cannot be adopted unless the Socialists vote for it. However, for this upset to become a firm base for a real alternative and avoid the setback of a simple alternation the Left Front must be offensive and the social movements must carry their demands right into the Senate. The latter must now become an area of resistance to the policies of social regression and for the drawing up of a change in political logic.