1981 les élections de l'alternance
The élections of 1981, which opened a new phase in the Fifth Republic by allowing alternation, will surely constitute a référence in French political history. Even before taking a place next to those of 1936 in the national mythology, they are already subject to polemical interprétations. For the partisans of the socialist experiment, they are the crowning of a necessary évolution achieved by a powerful social and cultural movement. For the opponents, they are rather the fruit of a chance conjunction of circumstantial factors. For the former, they gave the left a mandate to reform society ; for, the lutter, they led to a misunderstanding. The scientific analysis of the best researchers of the Fondation nationale des sciences politiques does justice to such simplistic interprétations. It goes beyond the contradiction by weighing both chance and necessity in the double victory of François Mitterrand and the Socialist Party in 1981. Above ail, it describes the French voter of the 1980s, highly sensitive to the political stakes and astonishingly mobile. Taking thèse new voters into account allows not only to explain the socialist rise or the communist décline of 1981, but also to shed light on the changes in public opinion and the électorale between 1981 and 1986.