The new leader of the party should not be officially known on Saturday evening, but the results of this “decentralized congress” in the regions, where the 11,000 members will vote for the motion they prefer, will make it possible to know the great balance of power.

They will also vote to elect the members of the party’s future federal council and the 400 delegates who will formally appoint the new national secretary during a “federal congress” scheduled for December 10 in Rungis (Val-de-Marne).

If no motion reaches 50% of the votes on Saturday, negotiations will begin for mergers.

After the pitiful 4.6% of the environmental candidate for the presidential election, Yannick Jadot, who failed to win when the ecological issue became a priority, the new leader will first have to restore hope to her troops.

She will also have to reconcile the party, marked by internal struggles, in particular between Yannick Jadot and the deputy Sandrine Rousseau, and weakened by the “affair” Julien Bayou. The outgoing national secretary is accused by Sandrine Rousseau of psychological violence against an ex-companion, which he disputes.

Six women are in the running but the fate of the party should mainly be played between three of them.

Marine Tondelier, elected in Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais) and member of the outgoing management, is considered the favorite. Party campaign more than a year ago, and member of the outgoing management, she is supported in particular by Julien Bayou.

Her two challengers are Sophie Bussière, New-Aquitaine regional councilor and supported by MEP Yannick Jadot, and Mélissa Camara, elected from Lille supported by eco-feminist MP Sandrine Rousseau and part of the left wing of EELV.

– “Masify” the party –

Three other women present more confidential motions, but with a strategic role in the event of a merger of the list.

The former regional candidate in Brittany, Claire Desmares-Poirrier, defends the territories, federalism and decrease; the head of elections, Hélène Hardy, calls for turning the party more towards working-class neighborhoods; and executive board member Geraldine Boyer claims a libertarian heritage.

They all have in common to want to “massify” the party, and extend it to rural areas and working-class neighborhoods, where it is not very well established. Marine Tondelier wishes in particular “one million sympathizers” at the end of this mandate.

Most of them also want to “refound” the party, by modifying its internal rules, often considered complex and not conducive to the conquest of power.

But they differ on the positioning of the party vis-à-vis the left alliance Nupes, and on their relationship to radicalism.

Marine Tondelier like Sophie Bussière distance themselves from Nupes, considering it necessary to work first on “a new great party of ecology”. Both claim an independent list for Europeans.

But Sophie Bussière is trying to stand out by criticizing the outgoing leadership – and therefore Marine Tondelier – who “has not kept her promises of party transformations”, according to her.

Conversely, Mélissa Camara defends the Nupes, in which EELV must, according to her, be “a driving force of the left”. At the Europeans of 2024, she advocates not closing the door to a common list.

Ms. Camara, who carries the fights of “ecofeminism, anti-racism, anti-capitalism and intersectionality”, also defends “a form of radicalism, of rupture” and wishes that the party regain its full place in the movements of civil disobedience.

While supporting a form of radicalism, Marine Tondelier denounces “the buzz” and “the twitterization” of political life, in a barely veiled tackle to Sandrine Rousseau. Which makes Melissa Camara say that “among my friends, I have the impression that it’s anything but Rousseau”.