A total of 467,000 people have signed up to take part in the online vote, which started on Thursday. They have to rank five professional politicians and two civil society candidates on a scale from “very good” to “inadequate”.
Whoever wins the best grades average would be expected to rally all the other candidates and their voters behind them, giving the left a fighting change to unseat President Emmanuel Macron in the April election.
But the exercise, initiated by political activists including environmentalists, feminists and anti-racism groups, has been dogged by
The biggest is the upfront refusal by leading candidates Jean-Luc Melenchon, a hard-left politician, Yannick Jadot, a Green, and Socialist Anne Hidalgo to pay any attention to its result.
“As far as I’m concerned, the popular primary is a non-starter and has been for a while,” Jadot said Saturday, while Melenchon has called the initiative “obscure” and “a farce”.
The best-placed politician to win the grassroots endorsement is former Socialist justice minister Christiane Taubira, who has said she would accept the primary’s verdict.