Birth. December 29, 1920, at the 18e congress of the French section of the Workers’ International (SFIO) in Tours, a majority of delegates decided to join the Communist International (CI), founded by Lenin in Moscow.
Popular Front. In May 1936, the PC-SFIC supported the government of Léon Blum without participating in it. In 1939, its support for the German-Soviet pact led to its dissolution.
Release. After their action in the Resistance, the Communists took part in the provisional government of General de Gaulle in 1944. The French Communist Party, thus renamed in 1943, became the leading party in France, gathering more than a quarter of the votes in the legislative elections in 1945 and 1946.
Union of the Left. The first party on the left between 1945 and 1978, the PCF supported François Mitterrand in 1965. It adopted the “common program” with the Socialists and the Radicals in 1972, and brought four Communists into the government in 1981.
Decline. From the 1980s, the PCF lost its influence. From Georges Marchais (15.3%) to Marie-George Buffet (1.93%), the scores of his presidential candidates are melting. In 2012 and 2017, the PCF supported Jean-Luc Mélenchon.