The Popular Front (Front populaire) was an alliance of left-wing movements, including the French Communist Party (PCF), the Socialist SFIO and the Radical and Socialist Party, during the interwar period. It won the May 1936 legislative elections, leading to the formation of a government first headed by SFIO leader Léon Blum and exclusively composed of Radical-Socialist and SFIO ministers.
Léon Blum's government lasted from June 1936 to June 1937. He was then replaced by Camille Chautemps, a Radical, but came back as President of the Council in March 1938, before being succeeded by Edouard Daladier, another Radical, the next month. The Popular Front dissolved itself in autumn 1938, confronted to internal dissensions relatives to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), opposition of the right-wing and the persistent effects of the Great Depression.
The Popular Front won the May 1936 legislative elections three months after the victory of the Frente Popular in Spain. Headed by Léon Blum, the Popular Front engaged in various social reforms. The workers' movement welcomed this electoral victory by launching a general strike in May-June 1936, resulting in the negotiation of the Matignon agreements, one of the cornerstones of social rights in France.
The Popular Front was supported, without participation by the PCF, which did not have any minister in it, just as the SFIO had supported the Cartel des gauches in 1924 and 1932 without entering the government. Furthermore, it was the first time that the cabinet included female ministers (Suzanne Lacore, SFIO; Irène Joliot-Curie, independent; and Cécile Brunschvicg, also independent), although women would acquire the right to vote only in 1944.