French elections: 5 things you didn’t know about Yannick Jadot

A casual dresser who is passionate about environmental activism and unafraid to take on the hunting lobby - here's what you need to know about France's green candidate for the 2022 presidential elections.

French elections: 5 things you didn't know about Yannick Jadot
France's Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) party's candidate for the French 2022 presidential election Yannick Jadot. Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

1 He’s an activist

Before entering politics, Jadot worked for the environmental charity Greenpeace, co-ordinating the group’s actions in France.

He left Greenpeace in 2007 and was elected a Green MEP. He stood as the Green candidate in the 2017 French presidential elections, but withdrew his candidacy before polling day and agreed to support the centre-left candidate Benoit Hamon. For the 2022 race he was chosen as candidate at a primary of Green voters. 

2 He’s brave enough to infuriate la chasse

Hunting is a highly popular pastime in France and for this reason many politicians fear to suggest extra regulations on the sport. Not so Jadot, who is on record as saying that he wants to ban hunting at weekends and during the school holidays.

As well as the environmental concerns, he was also responding to safety worries, since every year in France passers-by (and hunters themselves) are killed or injured by la chasse.

3 He has a good regional powerbase

Jadot‘s personal poll ratings in the presidential elections are not good, but the Green party has been doing well on a local level.

Several of France’s largest cities including Grenoble, Lyon, and Bordeaux are now controlled by Green mayors, while Paris is ruled by eco-friendly Socialist Anne Hidalgo in co-operation with the Greens. 

4 He’s not keen on ties

Male French politicians tend to be very conservative (read: boring) dressers – dark suit, white shirt and plain dark-coloured ties are the norm.

Jadot, though, is more usually photographed in an open-necked shirt, although he is apparently willing to compromise on this. 

During a phone-in with France Inter, he told a listener: “For my part, I have never worn a tie. But I hear when, in my travels, people, including people of a certain age, who say that to be President of the Republic, one must wear a tie.

“And I hear them because I don’t want to be disqualified on the basis of an article of clothing.”

The photo on his election posters (without tie) was taken by Jonathan Mannion, an American photographer who more usually works with rap and hip-hop artists creating album covers.

5 He tweets in English

If you want to keep up with Jadot’s campaign latest and are not a French speaker, you can follow the ‘Yannick Jadot in English’ Twitter account.

It’s not actually him tweeting, it’s a bot account maintained by a colleague in the Green party, but it gives a fairly accurate translation of what the candidate is saying on his official twitter account (@yjadot).


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Macron rules out ‘national unity government’ for France

French president Emmanuel Macron has promised a new style of government based on 'listening and respect' - but did not announce an alliance with any other parties that would give him a majority in parliament.

Macron rules out 'national unity government' for France

Macron has been holding meetings with all other party leaders in an attempt to break the deadlock in parliament after his group lost its majority in Sunday’s elections, but in a live TV address to the nation he did not announce an alliance.

Instead he said that a new style of government was called for, saying: “The responsibility of the presidential majority is therefore to expand, either by building a coalition contract or by building majorities text by text.”

He rejected the idea of forming a “government of national unity” with all parties, saying that the present situation does not justify it.

READ ALSO Can Macron dissolve the French parliament?

But he said that opposition groups have signalled that: “They are available to advance on major topics” such as the cost of living, jobs, energy, climate and health.”

He said: “We must learn how to govern differently, by dialogue, respect, and listening

“This must mean making agreements, through dialogue, respect, and hard work. The country has made its desire for change clear.”  

Speaking for just eight minutes in the gardens of the Elysée, Macron added: “I cannot ignore the fractures and strong divisions that traverse our country.”   

He said urgent draft laws, especially to alleviate the impact of inflation and rising energy prices, would be submitted to parliament over the summer.

Macron called on the opposition parties to “clarify in all transparency, in the coming days, how far they are willing to go” in their support of such measures, which he said would not be financed by higher taxes.

He added that he himself had been re-elected in April on a platform of “ambitious reform” which he expected to carry out.

The parliamentary impasse should not lead to “stagnation”, Macron said, but to “dialogue and the willingness to listen to each other”.

Macron’s centrist group Ensemble (Together) ended Sunday’s elections as the largest group in parliament – but with 245 seats they are 44 short of an absolute majority.

The leftist coalition Nupes – an electoral alliance of the hard-left La France Insoumise, the centre-left Parti Socialiste, the Greens and the Communists – got a total of 131.

Meanwhile Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National got 89 seats and the centre-right Les Républicains got 61 seats. 

With deadlock in parliament, Macron has been holding meetings over the last two days with the party leaders in the attempt to create an alliance that will allow him to pass legislation over the next five years.

Reacting to Macron’s speech, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the leftist alliance which is the second largest group in parliament, said: “He was elected because most French people did not want the extreme right – the French people have rejected the president’s proposals.

“Nothing can change the choice of the French people.”

Macron’s position as president is not directly threatened by the lack of a majority, but it will mean that passing any legislation – which must be agreed by parliament – will be very difficult.

While negotiations between all parties will continue, Macron himself heads to Brussels on Thursday for an EU summit.