It is a little over 22 hours, this Sunday, when Benoît Hamon finally managed to get out of the barge restaurant on The Wharf, that he had transformed into the HQ, the time of the evening. But it is not yet time to go to the winner of the first round of the primary of the left. At the edge of the Seine, a tent full of supporters has been compiled to celebrate his success in a smaller committee. A quarter of an hour, a handful of journalists, however, will be permitted to enter to collect his first impressions. Interview.
Results of the primary PS : Hamon (36,0%), ahead of Valls (31,3%), Montebourg eliminated
Obs – did You expect such a score : 36% ?
Benoît Hamon - no, I do Not m’ is expected. It is first party to 7 or 8% ! Then, I hoped the qualification, but I did not know to what place. Be in mind, this is saying something, is beyond me. This is not “Benoît Hamon is great”, it is “what he said we want.”
Benoît Hamon : this mutation that his comrades have not seen it coming
what is it that has changed since the beginning of the campaign ?
- I felt a very strong around the social question and the environmental question that I have placed at the heart of my campaign. I may be wrong, but I have the feeling that there is a new fact in this election : the mobilization of active youth and youth in general. They have decided not to leave the keys of the truck to previous generations, who speak of work without knowing about, who talk about environment giving the impression that we still have a few decades to make the right decisions. They perceive a lot more urgency than there is today to make different policy choices from those made in recent years.
What is incredible in this result, is that I get the lead in speaking income, universal existence, ecological conversion of the economy, legalization of marijuana, 49.3 citizen, Life Republic, output of the diesel, support to the public services, early childhood… The message is clear. At the beginning of the campaign, I was told that all of these themes were in the minority and that I had no chance. And here it is ! I think they were in a minority in the head of those who believe that by continuing as before, by adjusting, amending, you will be ok. I think that this time is finite.
This is a kind of revenge ?
- no, not at all ! I saw this as a transition. I am very proud to have the support of Arnaud Montebourg. We had said from the beginning : it would have my support if I was not qualified, I would have hers if it was not. I have no revenge to take vis-à-vis anyone. I’ve been rather spoiled by being minister, in exercise of responsibility. But I am also spoiled by the fact that voters today share the convictions that are mine.
there is, however, nothing miraculous about it : I drew my project in the innovations that I have seen on the field, in the experiences of carers, workers, agri-food, specialists of great poverty, of scientists who are concerned with the degradation of the climate. My project is based on collective intelligence. I am only an interpreter of an intelligence that goes well beyond that of commissions of experts that we put together when we made the policy. This is useful, but this is not enough.
“It is the old policy, this is not very serious”
What do you think of the declaration of Manuel Valls, who now speaks of the “choice between the defeat is assured, and the victory possible” ?
- It is the old policy ! It is with this kind of approach that it must end. It was not much of interest to say this, this is not very serious. I have a project, that is comprehensive and coherent. I’m not saying that it is the truth, it is an option. I do not say that the project of Manuel Valls is a lie, it is another option. Another option, which is ultimately, what is quite logical in his case, to want to continue what has been done so far. To me, it seems to me that continue to lead us to the impasse.
The fact that Manuel Valls is second, it is a desire to give a new broom ?
- there is a desire to turn the page. If you add up my income, that of Arnaud Montebourg, the critical eye of Vincent Peillon, the environmentally oriented strong of François de Rugy and Jean-Luc Bennahmias, there is clearly a desire to turn the page. Who could doubt that the voters of the left do not want to turn the page ? It is necessary to think of the world as it comes, not as it was. About the work and the ecological conversion of the economy, it is apparent that some of the messages of Manuel Valls were stowed in the past.
What will be your strategy in between the two towers ?
- The same as for the first round. I’m going to continue consistently to defend what I said and I wouldn’t change it. I’m not going to say now “the 49.3 citizen may be”, “the legalisation of cannabis provided”, “income universal existence why not”. No, I’m going to defend my beliefs. I hope that they come together beyond and we will set up at the Elysée next may.
there will, therefore, not a Hamon outsider and a Hamon favorite ?
- It is you who decide if it is underdog or favorite. We, when we do campaign is based on ideas. And me, I have always believed that these ideas were ideas capable of bringing together the left. It is still amazing to see the number of people who say to me : “the Sunday, as a family, we spoke of the universal income of existence.”
We finally have a subject that falls within the solidarity that is invited to the pause in business, in the courses at the university, in the family dinners… let us Rejoice, there was no talk of the burkini, there are still a few weeks. The great achievements of this primary, and it should delight any candidate of the left, it is we are talking about societal issues and environmental issues.
“My project is more desirable”
We talked a lot of your ideas, the kindness that you generate, but also from a lack of présidentialité…
- But what does this mean ? Be présidentiable, it is to be not desirable ? My campaign has sparked the desire on the part of hundreds of thousands of French citizens who come to put me in the lead, do you think that they do not take seriously the election comes ? Be présidentiable, it is to be desirable. And mine, I believe, is more and more. My problem is not to resume the costume of one who has gone before us, François Hollande, is to think of the world as it comes. I leave to specialists in the ready-to-wear presidential care to compare their costumes respective to me it does not interest me.
are you Unsure as to achieve and then discuss it with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Pierre Laurent and Yannick Jadot ?
They know what my convictions. They also know that I will be an architect tireless gathering of the left, without which we will not be in the second round of the presidential election. I will try to unlock the doors that I closed.
When you declared your candidacy, it was in the middle of summer, in the indifference polite. All of this is, of course, built over time, but you see you really at the time or there is also a part of the surprise ?
I think that these results must to the quality of what is said, but also to events that may have been lucky. Honestly, the withdrawal of François Hollande, the fact that a time slot is free for “The political show” on France 2 that allows me to develop my thoughts in front of people that didn’t know me, it’s all part of an alignment of stars that fact that it works better today than it did yesterday.
At the same time, it wouldn’t work if what I said had not met the accession of citizens to the left and beyond who wonder about the world that we will leave to our kids. I say and I repeat : my engine, my fuel, my girls. I see a planet that is becoming unlivable due to the disorder created by the global warming, one billion migrants that can be anticipated, a work that is precarious, a rise of sexism… I was trying to give me the chance, by the responsibilities that may be mine, to play a role for them, as for all the girls and all the boys of their age. I’ll go to the bottom and I’m going to weigh-in at the maximum so that it does not leave them a world worse than the one in which we grew up.
interview by Julien Martin