Paris (AFP)

A year after its creation, Place Publique, co-founded by the essayist Raphaël Glucksmann, clings to its ambition to unite the left under a single banner, but if the movement participates in many rallies in view of the municipal elections in March he is still struggling to exist in opinion.

Like the other formations of his political family, Place public has put "social ecology" at the heart of his project. It is also strongly "democratized", and all decisions are subject to voting activists.

"We want to create a collective structure, where all social trends, environmentalists and solidarity can meet, and make known citizen mobilizations that already exist," said the end of 2018 Mr. Glucksmann.

A year later, this collective structure is struggling to set up. For Public Place, which has "several thousand" members, according to its leaders, bringing ecologists from EELV into the fold is a difficult task. EELV, with its relative success in the European elections in May (third position with 13.5%), will present an ecologist leader in almost all cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

However, "the only possibility for us (the left) is the union.For a credible alternative, we need only one movement, otherwise we will be condemned to eating popcorn while watching the game Macron-Le Pen "to repeat itself in 2022, analyzes Mr. Glucksmann.

With its strategy of "gathering as wide as possible" in the first round, Place public aims to "bring" a new breath "to the left," by involving citizens in decisions, "says Emilie Agnoux, municipal officer within some movement.

For example, in Toulouse, Place Publique participates in the "Citizen Archipelago" which brings together EELV, LFI and collective citizens behind the ecologist Antoine Maurice. In Saint-Malo, he organizes "+ malouins cafés +, with the citizens to co-produce the municipal program".

- "New breath on the left" -

Almost everywhere else (Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Paris ...), it is of all the rallies of left. Allied with LFI in Vannes, public square is even at the top of the list, with François Riou.

To the Europeans, allied with the PS - much to the dismay of the historical Mitterrandists, outraged that it implicated their former mentor in a film on Rwanda - the list Glucksmann had managed only a small 6.5%. What save the furniture despite everything, with the sending of six deputies in Strasbourg, two of Place Publique (himself and Aurore Lalucq).

"After the Europeans, no one is dead, everyone is weak", he judges today, promising that there will be "a rebalancing in the municipal". After, "we will make the big overtaking", he wants to believe. "We will remain two years (before the presidential election of 2022), but if the dynamic is not engaged in the year following the municipal, it is cooked."

What he wants is a single candidate left in 2022, in the first round. Why not him, question him AFP? "I do not want to be president," he says with a big smile.

If the strategic and theoretical discourse of Place public is well prowled, the practice is more complicated. The other two co-founders of the movement have already slammed the door.

Last March, the economist Thomas Porcher denounced "a list of apparatchiks, no citizens". And in October, it was Claire Nouvian's turn to return her card, "disgusted by the internal struggles" of a party "where the courtiers succeed more than the combatants".

"Public square has not done a good job strategically," said political scientist Jean-Daniel Lévy: "It's a small formation with an identified personality that does not bring + not too much.Little known to the public, she is, on the other hand, well identified by the political sphere ".

© 2019 AFP