The announcement by François Hollande that he will not seek a second term of 5 years as President, has suddenly enlivened the Socialist Primary Election, to choose the Party sponsored Candidate !
Manuel Valls resigned to become a Candidate. His close ally, Bernard Cazeneuve, like Valls a former Minister of the Interior, has now replaced him as Prime Minister. It will be the shortest Prime Ministerial term of the 5th Republic : it will end in May 2017 with the election of the new President.
The closing date for primary candidates is on December 15, 2016. The Primary debates are on January 23 and 29, 2016.
The two leading favourites are Valls and Arnaud Montebourg. After the disasterous Presidency by Hollande, the Socialist Party is completely split and Voters have drifted to other Parties.
The elected winner of the Socialist Primary will be in competition with some independent left-wing candidates in the first round of the 2017 Presidential Election.
The current Favourites to attain the second round Run-off debate, to become the new President, are still Marine Le Pen of the National Front, and François Fillon of the Republican Party. But as Manuel Valls has quite rightly said: "Nothing is yet certain" !