French Communist Party
Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), and considerable influence in French politics: two presidencies of "conseil général", 186 seats in regional parliament, about 800 mayors. It is one of the most influential parties behind the Socialist Party and the UMP. The PCF remains the largest party in France advocating communist views.
Founded in 1920, it participated in three governments: in the provisional government of the Liberation (1944–1947), at the beginning of François Mitterrand's presidency (1981–1984) and in Plural Left's cabinet led by Lionel Jospin (1997–2002). It was also the largest French left-wing party in a number of national elections, from 1945 to the 1970s, before falling behind the Socialist Party (PS) in the 1980s. The PCF has lost further ground to the Socialists since that time.
Since its participation in François Mitterrand's government, the PCF has sometimes been considered by the far-left to be a social-democratic party. It supports alter-globalization movements although it may sometimes also criticise them, in particular their lack of organisation.
After a poor performance in the 2007 French legislative election, the party did not have, for the first time since 1962, the minimum level of 20 deputies needed to form a parliamentary group by itself. The PCF then allied itself with The Greens and other left-wing MPs to form a parliamentary group to the left of the Socialist Party, called the Left Front, which has from 5 to 10% support in recent national elections.
The PCF is a member of the Party of the European Left, and its MEPs sit in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left group.