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Democratic Movement
Mouvement démocrate
Leader François Bayrou
Founded 2007-12-01
Headquarters 133bis, rue de l'Université
75007 Paris
Ideology Centrism,
Social liberalism,
Third Way,
Social democracy
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
Seats in the Senate
Seats in the European Parliament
Politics of France
Political parties
Constitution of France
Parliament; Government; President

The Democratic Movement (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 "Democratic Party" (Parti démocrate), it was renamed "Democratic Movement",[2] because there was already a small Democratic Party in France.[3]

Traditionally, the UDF had always supported right-wing 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 May 29 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. These will be the central issues of MoDem.

MoDem will be something different from UDF. 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.

In 2004, François Bayrou launched the European Democratic Party (EDP) along with Francesco Rutelli's Democracy is Freedom – 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, liberal and social liberal parties.

Elected officials

François Bayrou

Former elected officials


  1. ^ "'Kingmaker' snubs French rivals". BBC News. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2007-05-06.  
  2. ^ "François Bayrou baptisera son parti "Mouvement démocrate"" (in French). Le Monde. 2007-05-05.,1-0@2-823448,36-905824,0.html. Retrieved 2007-05-06.  
  3. ^ "Le futur «Parti démocrate» de Bayrou existe déjà" (in French). Libération. 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-05-06.  
  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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