PCF wins a plurality, November 10, 1946
French Communist Party leader Maurice Thorez on the cover of Time Magazine, 1946
On November 10, 1946, in the wake of the Second World War, the French Communist Party (PCF) won a plurality of the votes in the national legislative elections.
They took just over 28% of the vote and the most seats with 182. This made them the largest party in the National Assembly and of the three party alliance of which they were a part.
While Thorez demanded to lead the government in the end the PCF accepted that Socialist Leon Blum would instead, with hindsight a huge strategic mistake.
The next year, 1947, saw the end of the alliance as the Communists refused to back the government's colonial policy in Vietnam and Madagascar, the country saw a wave of strikes, and the US demanding, with the rise of the Cold War, that the Communist ministers be dropped from government if France was to get hundreds of millions of dollars of "aide".