The Republicans (France)

The Republicans (French: Les Républicains; LR) is a centre-right, Gaullist, conservative political party in France.

The Republicans

Les Républicains
PresidentChristian Jacob
General SecretaryAnnie Genevard
Vice PresidentsJean Leonetti
Guillaume Peltier
Damien Abad
Spokesman in the AssemblyChristian Jacob
Spokesman in the SenateBruno Retailleau
FounderNicolas Sarkozy
Founded30 May 2015 (2015-05-30)
Preceded byUMP
HeadquartersRue de Vaugirard N. 238,
75015 Paris
Youth wingLes Jeunes Républicains
("The Young Republicans")
Membership (2017) 234,556 (2017)[1]
Liberal conservatism[6]
Christian democracy[4]

Political positionCentre-right[9][10][11]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
International Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party[12]
Colours     Blue,      White,      Red (French Tricolore)
National Assembly
104 / 577
146 / 348
European Parliament
7 / 74
Presidency of Regional Councils
6 / 17
Presidency of Departmental Councils
44 / 101

The party was formed on 30 May 2015 by renaming the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, which had been founded in 2002 under the leadership of former President of France Jacques Chirac.[13][14] The party used to be one of the two major political parties in the French Fifth Republic along with the centre-left Socialist Party (PS), and, following the 2017 legislative election, it remains the second largest party in the National Assembly (behind President Macron's REM). LR is a member of the European People's Party,[15] the Centrist Democrat International,[16] and the International Democrat Union.[17]


UMP name change

After the election in November 2014 of Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France from 2007 to 2012, as president of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Sarkozy put forward a request to the party's general committee to change its name to Les Républicains ("The Republicans") and alter the statutes of the party. With the name already chosen, vice-president of the UMP Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet presented Sarkozy and the party's political bureau the proposed new statutes. The proposed statutes provided for, among other provisions, the election of the presidents of the departmental federations by direct democracy, consulting members on election nominations, and the end of the political currents.[18]

Critics of the name change claimed it was "illegal" for Sarkozy to name the party "Republicans", because every French person is a republican if they support the values and ideals of the French Republic that emanated from the French Revolution, and as such the term is above party politics.[19] The new name was adopted by the party bureau on 5 May 2015 and approved by the party membership on 28 May by an online "yes" vote of 83.3% on a 45.7% turnout after a court ruling in favour of Sarkozy.[20] The new party statutes were adopted by 96.3% of voters and the composition of the new political bureau by 94.8%.

Founding congress

The change to the name "The Republicans" was confirmed at the party's founding congress on 30 May 2015 at the Paris Event Centre in Paris, attended by 10,000 activists.[21] Angela Merkel, chairwoman of the centre-right CDU, sent a congratulatory message to the congress. The Republicans thus became the legal successor of the UMP and the leading centre-right party in France.[22]

The organisation has been declared in the préfecture de Saône-et-Loire on 9 April 2015.[23] According to the statement of this declaration, its aim is to "promote ideas of the right and centre, open to every people who wish to be member and debate in the spirit of a political party with republican ideas in France or outside France". This party foundation was published in the Journal officiel de la République française on 25 April 2015.[24]

Since 2016

On 3 July 2016, Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he would resign as leader that year in order to compete to be the right-wing candidate in the 2017 presidential election.[25]

After winning the party's presidential primary, François Fillon suffered a historic defeat in the first round of the presidential election, with the candidate of the right failing to continue to the second round for the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic amid "Penelopegate".[26] In the second round of the legislative elections in June, The Republicans and its allies suffered further losses, losing nearly a hundred deputies, which represented its worst ever performance.[27]

After Emmanuel Macron was elected as president, he appointed three right-wing politicians in his government, namely Édouard Philippe as Prime Minister, Bruno Le Maire as French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, and Gérald Darmanin as Minister of Public Action and Accounts. As a consequence, a parliamentary group including LR dissidents supportive of the government line, "The Constructives", was formed in the National Assembly, separate from the existing group.[28]

On 11 July, the political bureau of The Republicans agreed to hold a leadership election for president of the party on 10 and 17 December;[29] Laurent Wauquiez was elected in a single round on 10 December.[30]

On 2 June 2019, a week after overseeing the worst result for the right in its history in the European elections with 8.48% of the vote, Wauquiez announced his resignation as president of The Republicans.[31]



1 Nicolas Sarkozy30 May 201523 August 2016
- Laurent Wauquiez23 August 201629 November 2016
vacant from 29 November 2016 to 10 December 2017
2 Laurent Wauquiez10 December 20172 June 2019
- Jean Leonetti2 June 201913 October 2019
3 Christian Jacob 13 October 2019 Incumbent

Vice President

No. Name Photo Began Left
1 Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet 30 May 2015 15 December 2015
2 Laurent Wauquiez 15 December 2015 23 August 2016
29 November 2016 10 December 2017
3 Virginie Calmels 10 December 2017 Incumbent
Guillaume Peltier
Damien Abad

Secretary general

No. Name Photo Began Left
1 Bernard Accoyer 29 November 2016 13 December 2017
2 Annie Genevard 13 December 2017 Incumbent

Election results

Presidential elections

Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round
Votes % Rank Votes % Rank
2017 François Fillon 7,212,995 20.01 3rd

Legislative elections

Election year 1st round 2nd round Seats +/− Rank
Votes % Votes %
2017 3,573,427 15.77 4,040,203 22.23
112 / 577
82 2nd Opposition

European Parliament

Election year Votes % Seats +/−
2019 1,920,407 8.48
7 / 79

See also


  1. "Présidence des Républicains: à 17 heures, la participation a de quoi satisfaire Laurent Wauquiez". (in French). 10 December 2017.
  2. Politics (2015-06-02). "Hollande and Sarkozy are battling for the French Presidency — but France doesn't want either of them - Business Insider". Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  3. Noack, Rick. "The 'Republican Party' is coming to France". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  4. "Sarkozy apela a las esencias republicanas para reconquistar el poder". ABC. Spain. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  5. Lichfield, John (27 March 2019). "France's new two-party system: Center vs. Extreme". POLITICO.
  6. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "France". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  7. "L'UMP devient "Les Républicains" / France Inter". Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  8. ""Les Républicains" : comment Sarkozy veut dépasser la logique de parti". Les Échos. France. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  9. Parrot, Clément (12 June 2017). "Législatives : les cinq raisons de la bérézina de la droite". France Info. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  10. Malosse, Diane (12 May 2017). "Droite : ces Républicains qui ne veulent pas se mettre en marche !". Le Point. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  11. Faye, Olivier (7 November 2017). "Les Républicains tentent la synthèse". Le Monde. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  12. "france | EPP Group in the European Parliament". 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  13. Bolton, Doug (30 May 2015). "Nicolas Sarkozy changes UMP party's name to The Republicans ahead of political comeback". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
  14. "France's UMP party changes name to The Republicans, boosting Sarkozy". Reuters Editorial. 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  15. "EPP - European People's Party - Member Parties". 50.8398374;4.3671204: European People's Party. Archived from the original on 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  16. "Partidos Archivo". idc-cdi. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  17. "International Democrat Union » Member Parties". 2015-10-27. Archived from the original on 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  18. Béraud, Anne-Laëtitia (14 April 2015). "L'UMP se dote des statuts du nouveau parti baptisé «Les Républicains". 20 Minutes. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  19. Chrisafis, Angelique (26 May 2015). "France: judges clear way for Sarkozy to rename UMP party Les Républicains". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  20. Pauline Théveniaud (avec Olivier Beaumont), Congrès des «Républicains» : «Un jour de renaissance», pour Sarkozy Le Parisien, 30 mai 2015
  21. Alexandre Lemarié et Matthieu Goar, Sarkozy met les Républicains en ordre de bataille pour 2017 Le Monde, 30 mai 2015
  22. AFP (29 May 2015). "France's Sarkozy renames UMP party 'The Republicans'". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  23. "Official journal" (PDF). 2015.
  24. No d'annonce : 1214 Paru le : 25/04/2015 Association : LES REPUBLICAINS. Identification R.N.A. : W715002794 No de parution : 20150017 Département (Région) : Saône-et-Loire (Bourgogne) Lieu parution : Déclaration à la préfecture de Saône-et-Loire. Type d'annonce : ASSOCIATION/CREATION
  25. "Nicolas Sarkozy confirms return bid for French presidency". The Guardian. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  26. Olivier Beaumont (24 April 2017). "VIDEO. Une défaite historique pour François Fillon". Le Parisien. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  27. Marion Mourgue (18 June 2017). "Législatives : un revers historique pour Les Républicains". Le Figaro. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  28. Paul Chaulet (20 June 2017). "L'avenir incertain des députés LR "constructifs" à l'Assemblée nationale". L'Express. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  29. "Les Républicains éliront leur nouveau président en décembre 2017". RTL. Agence France-Presse. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  30. Matthieu Goar (10 December 2017). "Laurent Wauquiez prend la tête du parti Les Républicains". Le Monde. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  31. "Laurent Wauquiez démissionne de la présidence des Républicains". Le Figaro. 2 June 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
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