Democratic Movement (France)

Democratic Movement (France)
Democratic Movement
Mouvement démocrate
Leader François Bayrou
Founded 1 December 2007
Preceded by Union for French Democracy

133bis, rue de l'Université

75007 Paris
Ideology Centrism,
Social liberalism,
International affiliation Alliance of Democrats
European affiliation European Democratic Party
European Parliament Group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Official colours Orange
Seats in the National Assembly
3 / 577
Seats in the Senate
7 / 343
Seats in the European Parliament
5 / 72
Seats in Regional Councils
32 / 1,880
Politics of France
Political parties

The Democratic Movement French: Mouvement démocrate, MoDem) is a centrist, social liberal and pro-European French political party that was founded by centrist politician François Bayrou to succeed his Union for French Democracy (UDF) and to contest the 2007 legislative election, after his strong showing in the 2007 presidential election.[1]

Initially named the Democratic Party (Parti démocrate), the party was renamed "Democratic Movement",[2] because there was already a small Democratic Party in France.[3]

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 of the UMP. On the initiative of its leader François Bayrou, it eventually supported a censure motion along with the Socialist Party.



2007 presidential election

During the 2007 presidential campaign, François Bayrou advocated a national unity government. Although eliminated in the first round, a high number of voters (over 18%) supported him, partly because of his independence from major parties. Following the election, he founded the Democratic Movement (MoDem) on the 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 Democratic Movement won 7,61% 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 of France (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[4]). Thierry Benoit, one of the four MPs, has been vocally critical of the party,[5] but he actually sits for the MoDem and defends the movement's policies. He stated that he drew the conclusions of being elected joinly by centre-right and left-wing citizens.[6]

Official foundation

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.


During the 2007 presidential election, François 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.

MoDem will be something different from UDF.[neutrality is disputed] First, many members left to form the New Centre. Second, some Greens (including an MEP) are to join the new party and also Corinne Lepage, leader of CAP 21, has stated her desire to work with MoDem in order to re-found political ecology beyond the left-right divide. MoDem will thus be a centre-left party with a different and broader electoral base from the late UDF.[neutrality is disputed]

International and European affiliations

In 2004, François 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.

Elected officials

François Bayrou

Former elected officials

  • Former Deputies: Gilles Artigues, Anne-Marie Comparini, Gérard Vignoble
  • Former Ministers: François Bayrou, former Minister of Education; Azouz Begag, former Minister for Equality of Opportunity;


  1. ^ "'Kingmaker' snubs French rivals". BBC News. 25 April 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2007. 
  2. ^ "François Bayrou baptisera son parti "Mouvement démocrate"" (in French). Le Monde. France. 5 May 2007.,1-0@2-823448,36-905824,0.html. Retrieved 6 May 2007. 
  3. ^ "Le futur «Parti démocrate» de Bayrou existe déjà" (in French). Libération. France. 27 April 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2007. 
  4. ^ "Assemblée Nationale". 
  5. ^ He indicated that he was elected as a UDF representative, rather than as a MoDem.
  6. ^ Pourquoi les députés du MoDem n'ont-ils pas voté la confiance au gouvernement ? in La Croix, 5/7/2007 : « 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. »]

External links

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