Lutte ouvrière (LO) and Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) are both French far-left communist parties and they are both represented by a candidate during the French 2017 presidential elections, why aren't they presenting one single candidate ?

Are there fundamental ideological differences between the two parties, is it a partisan quarrel, or is there another reason ?

  • Because they know they are no chance of winning. Although I would imagine they would consider doing just that if they saw there was a chance. Apr 9, 2017 at 16:18
  • 2
    Obligatory Monty Python reference: youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4
    – SJuan76
    Apr 9, 2017 at 17:14
  • That's a nice question. One of the main questions in French politics these days is why reformist far-left candidates Hamon and Melenchon unite and win the Presidential election? (Note: I call them reformist in opposition to Arthaud and Poutou, the candidates from the OP, that are openly in favor of general strikes and popular revolutions).
    – Taladris
    Apr 20, 2017 at 9:08
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    @Taladris I wouldn't label Hamon as far-left but the reason why he didn't withdraw is likely because of the necessity for the Parti Socialiste to score at least 5% during the first turn (which they did) in order to have 47% of their campaign expenses refunded by the French State (link in French). The PS would probably have been in a dire financial situation if they didn't get this refund.
    – anon
    Apr 28, 2017 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


One word answer : productivism.

The ideological roots of both parties are similar (marxism). They both acknowledge that the climate should be preserved. However, they disagree on the extent to which it should be taken into account. LO wants to keep productivism, NPA does not.

LO is a trotskist party. It is not opposed to producing a ton of material goods for the well being of the masses. It has an environmental agenda, but blames most climatic disasters (for instance fukushima) on the capitalist gestion of the production. The production of wealth itself should be kept.

NPA does not claim to be a communist party. It wants to establish a "21st century ecological socialism ". It wants a control on the level of production, as well as on the technologies used to produce goods, in order to preserve the environment. Furthermore, controlling the level of production would enable to increase leasure time. This approach is similar to that of the degrowth theory, although the NPA does not avocate for reducing the growth, only choosing the proper level.

This leads to differences in their respective political agendas for the 2017 election. NPA is opposed to nuclear energy and GMOs, LO is not.

  • Thanks for your answer. As someone interested in the politics of science and technology I also felt that the two parties differed in their attitudes on the subject. However NPA gave its support to the Bonnets rouges movement in Brittany even though it is widely considered as right-wing since it was created in opposition to the écotaxe (which supposedly goes into the direction of "cological socialism"). How to explain that ?
    – anon
    Apr 11, 2017 at 19:32

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