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New Centre

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Title: New Centre  
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New Centre

For other uses, see New Centre (disambiguation).
New Centre
Nouveau Centre
Leader Hervé Morin
Founded 29 May 2007
Split from Union for French Democracy
Ideology Centrism,
Social liberalism,
Political position Centre to centre-right
International affiliation none
European affiliation none
European Parliament group Group of the European People's Party[1]
Colours light blue
National Assembly Template:Infobox political party/seats
Senate Template:Infobox political party/seats
European Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
Regional Councils Template:Infobox political party/seats

New Centre (Nouveau Centre French pronunciation: ​[nu.vo'sɑ̃tʁ] ; NC), also known as the European Social Liberal Party (Parti Social Libéral Européen, PSLE) is a centre-right political party in France, formed by the members of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) – including a majority of former parliamentarians (18 of 29 members of the UDF in the National Assembly) – who did not agree with François Bayrou's decision to found the Democratic Movement (MoDem) and wanted to support the newly elected president Nicolas Sarkozy, continuing the UDF-Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) alliance.

Its creation was announced on May 29, 2007 during a press conference.[2]


During the legislative elections in June 2007 17 NC deputies were elected, in addition to five unaffiliated deputies elected under the "Majorité Présidentielle" banner. Only three MoDem deputies were elected, even though they won 7.6% of the first round vote and the NC-PSLE won about 2.3%. However, less than one hundred NC candidates were standing, compared to over 500 for the MoDem.

Minister of Defense Hervé Morin was elected by the first round in Eure (50.05%), other candidates such as François Sauvadet, Charles de Courson were also elected by the first round. In total, six NC-PSLE members were elected by round one.

In the second round, 11 additional deputies were elected, giving the party a total of 17 deputies. With other deputies elected under various banners, the party formed a parliamentary group of 22 members, including MoDem candidates Jean-Christophe Lagarde. Mayotte MoDem deputy Abdoulatifou Aly joined the group before defecting back to the MoDem. In a 2008 by-election in the Rhone, the party gained a seat after the UMP incumbent saw his election invalidated.

In his second cabinet, the Prime Minister François Fillon appointed three NC members Hervé Morin as Defense Minister, André Santini as State Secretary for Public Servants and Valérie Létard as State Secretary for Social Solidarity.

The party held its foundation congress in Nîmes in 2008, where Hervé Morin was elected president of the party.

In the municipal and cantonal elections held in 2008, the party held most if its seats, but lost Blois and Amiens to the PS. It did gain, however, the cities of Agen and Châtellerault. It lost the department of the Somme but gained the Côte-d'Or, where François Sauvadet was elected as departmental president. In the 2009 European elections the party joined the presidential majority alliance and three NC members were elected as MEPs.

In May–June 2011 the party joined The Alliance, alongside with the Radical Party, as an alternative to the UMP.[3][4][5]


The New Centre's political ideas[6] are in large part inspired by those of François Bayrou in his 2007 presidential campaign.

It supports a social market economy, which seeks to find a compromise between socialism and laissez-faire capitalism. In this regards, it supports social welfare and a competitive market economy. It also supports a looser application of the French 35-hour workweek, a reduction in the payroll tax, a French version of the American Small Business Administration and a reduction of the government debt and more budgetary regulation.

The New Centre supports a diversification of energy sources to cut by four greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In this regard, it supports the development of public transit and further development of fluvial and railway transportation of goods and people.

It supports a greater role for the French Parliament and some in the party favour the introduction of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) or a German electoral system for parliamentary elections. Like many French centrist parties descended from the centrist Christian democratic ideals, it is strongly Europhile and supports increased European control over the economy, environment, immigration, energy and research.

Elected officials

Popular support

It is hard to pinpoint the geographic distribution of the NC's vote since most of its candidates run without UMP opposition. The party is strong institutionally in the Loir-et-Cher, where it holds two of the department's three seats as well as the presidency of the general council.


French National Assembly
Election year # of 1st round votes  % of 1st round vote # of 2nd round votes  % of 2nd round vote # of seats
2007 616,440 2.37% 433,057 2.12% 22[7]

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election year # of votes  % of overall vote # of seats won
2009 ran with UMP, Modern Left, Progressives 3


In order to obtain public financing, the New Centre has signed a convention with Fetia Api, a very small party in French Polynesia. 23 parliamentarians (18 of the French National Assembly and 5 from the Senate) declared they belong to Fetia Api for this reason.


External links

  • Official website
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