Democratic Movement (France)
The Democratic Movement (French: Mouvement démocrate French pronunciation: [muv.mɑ̃ de.mɔ.kʁat]; MoDem French: [mɔ.dɛm]) is a centrist political party in France that is characterised by a strong pro-European stance. MoDem was founded by François Bayrou to succeed the Union for French Democracy (UDF) and contest the 2007 legislative election, after his strong showing in the 2007 presidential election. Initially named the Democratic Party (Parti démocrate), the party was renamed "Democratic Movement", because there was already a small Democratic Party in France. MoDem secured an agreement with En Marche! in the 2017 legislative election after Bayrou endorsed the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron in February. In June 2017, the MoDem and its MEPs were accused of potentially fictitious employment practices within the European Parliament. Bayrou resigned on 21 June from his post as Justice Minister soon after he became embroiled in the fictitious employment scandals, and allegations of harassment against a journalist reporting on the scandal.
|Founded||1 December 2007|
|Preceded by||Union for French Democracy|
|Headquarters||133 bis rue de l'Université|
|Political position||Centre to centre-right|
|European affiliation||European Democratic Party|
|European Parliament group||Renew Europe|
39 / 577
5 / 348
5 / 74
|Presidency of Regional Councils|
0 / 17
|Presidency of Departmental Councils|
1 / 101
The MoDem traces its roots to the Union for French Democracy (UDF), centrist coalition/party active from 1978 to 2007.
Traditionally, the UDF had always supported centre-right governments since its creation by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. The UDF aligned itself with the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) following its creation in 2002, and even took part in the government coalition in the Senate from 2002 to 2007, though it did not participate in the Cabinet (except for Gilles de Robien). However, during the second term of Jacques Chirac, the UDF became increasingly independent from the UMP. On the initiative of its leader, François Bayrou, it eventually supported a censure motion along with the Socialist Party (PS).
2007 presidential election
During the 2007 presidential campaign, Bayrou advocated a national unity government. He presented himself as a centrist and a social-liberal, proclaiming that, if elected, he would "govern beyond the left-right divide". Although eliminated in the first round, over 18% of voters supported him, partly because of his independence from major parties. Following the election, he founded the Democratic Movement (MoDem) on 29 May to reinforce his strategy of political independence. MoDem was also supported by the Union of Radical Republicans.
Some members of the UDF did not agree with this new strategy because the weighted French balloting system would hinder the Democratic Movement from obtaining seats in the legislative elections. These members created the New Centre, continuing their support for the newly elected president Nicolas Sarkozy.
2007 legislative election
The MoDem won 7.6% of the votes in the first round of the June 2007 legislative election.
Candidates ran under the UDF-MoDem banner, since the party had not yet been created officially. The party gained three seats in the National Assembly (not including Abdoulatifou Aly who was elected in Mayotte for a party affiliated to the MoDem. He sat with the New Centre for a short while but he is now sitting with the MoDem deputies). Thierry Benoit, one of the four MPs, has been vocally critical of the party, but he actually sits for the MoDem and defends the movement's policies. He stated that he had been elected jointly by centre-right and left-wing citizens.
The MoDem became an official political party on 1 December 2007 following its founding assembly in Villepinte, Seine-Saint-Denis, in the suburbs of Paris. The assembly elected Bayrou, who ran uncontested, as the party president, and also elected 29 others to the provisional executive board. On 30 November 2007, the UDF effectively ceased to exist, and was fully integrated within MoDem.
2012 presidential and legislative elections
At the 2012 presidential election Bayrou won 9.3% of the vote, a half of what he had obtained five years before. In the subsequent legislative election the party was reduced to 1.8% and won only two seats while Bayrou lost his seat in the National Assembly, which he had held for most of his political career.
2014 municipal elections
In the city counting more than 10,000 inhabitants, the party scored an average of 15%, winning over 50 cities. Bayrou won in Pau, while the party continues to run cities like Biarritz, Saint-Brieuc, Mont-de-Marsan and Talence, and is part of the ruling coalition in Bordeaux, Dijon, Saint-Étienne and Auxerre, among others.
During the 2007 presidential election, Bayrou stressed three points: the public debt, the need for change and ouverture to the right/left political system and the need of constitutional reforms in that direction.
International and European affiliations
In 2004, Bayrou launched the European Democratic Party (EDP) along with Francesco Rutelli's Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy. In 2005, the EDP created, along with the New Democrat Coalition of the United States Democratic Party, the Alliance of Democrats, a worldwide network of centrist and social liberal parties.
This table includes the 2002 and 2007 elections in which the MoDem founder, François Bayrou, presented himself as a candidate of the Union for French Democracy (UDF).
|Election year||Candidate||1st round||2nd round|
|2017||supported Emmanuel Macron (En Marche!)|
|Election year||1st round||2nd round||Seats||+/−||Rank
3 / 577
2 / 577
42 / 577
|3rd||Presidential majority (under REM)|
The 2014 elections involved an alliance with the forces of the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI); this joint list, The Alternative (L'Alternative), saw four MoDem MEPs out of seven elected from the list.
6 / 72
|2014||1,884,565 (The Alternative)||9.94 (The Alternative)||4th||
4 / 74
|2019||5,079,015 (Renaissance)||22.42 (Renaissance)||2nd||
5 / 79
- "Bayrou propose que le MoDem et LRM bâtissent une "maison commune" pour les prochaines élections". Le Monde. Agence France-Presse. 16 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
- Nicolas Hubé (2013). "France". In Nicolò Conti (ed.). Party Attitudes Towards the EU in the Member States: Parties for Europe, Parties Against Europe. Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-317-93656-5.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "France". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- Bruno Amable (2017). Structural Crisis and Institutional Change in Modern Capitalism: French Capitalism in Transition. OUP Oxford. p. 234. ISBN 978-0-19-109188-9.
- "French PM rebukes minister Bayrou for complaining to broadcaster". Reuters. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- Jocelyn Evans; Gilles Ivaldi (2017). The 2017 French Presidential Elections: A Political Reformation?. Springer. p. 84. ISBN 978-3-319-68327-0.
- Isabel Negro Alousque (2011). "A cognitive approach to humor in political cartoons". In Carmen Valero-Garcés (ed.). Dimensions of Humor: Explorations in Linguistics, Literature, Cultural Studies and Translation. Universitat de València. p. 85. ISBN 978-84-370-8290-5.
- "'Kingmaker' snubs French rivals". BBC News. 25 April 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2007.
- "François Bayrou baptisera son parti "Mouvement démocrate"". Le Monde (in French). France. 5 May 2007. Archived from the original on 8 May 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2007.
- "Le futur "Parti démocrate" de Bayrou existe déjà". Libération (in French). France. 27 April 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2007.
- "Top Macron ally Bayrou quits French government". BBC News. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- The third man, The Economist, 1 March 2007.
- Jacques Chirac's poisoned legacy, The Economist, 16 March 2007, p. 17.
- "M. Abdoulatifou Aly : Assemblée Nationale". www.assemblee-nationale.fr. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- He indicated that he was elected as a UDF representative, rather than as a MoDem.
- "Pourquoi les députés du MoDem n'ont-ils pas voté la confiance au gouvernement?". La Croix. 5 July 2007. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007.
Je n'oublie pas que j'ai été élu par des électeurs de droite et par des électeurs de gauche. En m'abstenant, je ne heurte pas ceux de droite et j'envoie un signe à ceux de gauche
- "M. Bayrou enterre l'UDF et célèbre la naissance du MoDem", Le Monde, 1 December 2007
- "Municipales: le MoDem a fait 15% au 1er tour", Le Figaro, 27 March 2014.