French Communist Party 1936

Smashing Victory of the Communist Party

Source: L'Humanité, April 27, 1936;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2005.

The first steps in the revolutionary events of the spring of 1936 were the advances by the left in the first round of elections.

Paris, midnight.

Hour by hour we receive the results of the elections, and it is superfluous to say that they fill us with joy.

The Popular Front is victorious.

Everywhere, in the country and in the city, the Communist Party has carried off successes of the greatest importance.

Our great Party has gained several hundred thousand votes. The worker and peasant masses have been carried toward it with an impressive élan. In a striking fashion they have approved its policy of unity, which will render France free, strong and happy.

At this hour the figures are not yet definitive.

Nevertheless, we can say that in Paris we have grown from 96,000 to 163,000 votes. The suburbs and the outer fringes will give us more than 400,000 votes. The Communist Party is thus at the head of all the political parties in the Paris region.

The Communist Party will double its number of votes from 1932.

It’s a veritable landslide in all regions of France.

We count eight elected in the first round. The Party Secretary [Maurice Thorez] obtains 19,000 votes and will be the first elected representative of the country. Gaston Monmousseau arrives at almost 18,000 votes; André Marty, Renaud jean, Georges Lévy, Vaillant-Couturier, Ramette and Capron are elected with magnificent majorities.

The most comforting news reaches us from all departments. We want to stress those of Marseilles and the Bouches-du-Rhone, the Cher, the Var and the Allier.

The second round is favorable to us in several dozen districts.

At the same time, the fascist chiefs like Taittinger, Franklin-Bouillon, Grison, Pic, Marcel Heraud, Duval-Arnould, Billiet, Paté, etc.. aren’t doing so well.

One must especially take note of the vote of M. Doriot [1] in Saint-Denis. The workers of the great red city have harshly punished the sad renegade and his sad proceedings. They have the firmly established will to chase out M. Doriot on Sunday. The felon was rewarded with all the reactionary and fascist votes that went to Barthélemy in 1932.

Yesterday will have an influence on the general policy of our country, whose immense scope it will be difficult to measure. It is a great success for all parties that are partisans of freedom and peace.

We are sure that the members of the popular front will rout fascism next Sunday. The most rigorous discipline imposes itself upon all the parties of the Rassemblement Anti-Fasciste.

On their side the Communists will remain faithful to their commitments. They will everywhere give the example of the most scrupulous loyalty in order to ensure the election of all Radical, Socialist and Socialist Union candidates in a favorable position.

For today, they don’t hide their immense satisfaction, one that is shared by the elite of the workers of France.

— Marcel Cachin

1. Former Communist leader who, after his expulsion from the PCF, eventually moved to fascism. He fought with the Nazis during world War II.