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Far-Right Revival
Marine Le Pen Takes the Lead in French Presidential Poll

If the upcoming French presidential elections were held today, the controversial far-right politician Marine Le Pen would take the lead. The head of the National Front party she inherited from her father, Le Pen has overtaken the other main candidates in a recent poll by the French Institute of Public Opinion. The two other main candidates are former President Nicolas Sarkozy, a moderate conservative, and current president François Hollande, a socialist. The FT has more:

Ms Le Pen scored 26 per cent in the poll, up from 24 per cent in the last sounding taken in April, while Mr Sarkozy, widely expected to announce a political comeback in September, slipped six points to 25 per cent. […]

The Ifop poll underlined growing fears on both the mainstream left and right that Ms Le Pen is set to repeat the feat of her father in 2002 when he reached the second round of the presidential election by coming second, knocking out the then socialist candidate Lionel Jospin.

These result may be the product of a process of elimination, given the current unpopularity of Le Pen’s rivals. Sarkozy and his party (the UMP) have been severely damaged by a financial scandal that brought Sarkozy himself under suspicion of corruption. Meanwhile, Hollande and his party have abysmal approval ratings in the wake of worsening economic and employment outlooks. 

Still, whatever the cause, Le Pen’s showing in the presidential poll means that the far right is starting to do more than make some noise in the EU Parliament—they’re putting pressure on national governments as well.

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  • ojfl

    I wish someone explained to me how someone with the economic views of the FN can easily be called far right or even right wing.

    • Corlyss

      “Far right” is the term leftist elites who dominate the media and policy conversation on both sides of the pond use to frighten themselves and others. If that terms is insufficient to bring on the desired recoil in horror among voters, “Nazi” and “neo-Nazi” appear shortly. This is especially true in what passes for intelligent discussions about the Muslim problem and the impact of the spectacular failure that is the EU’s open borders immigration policies.

    • FriendlyGoat

      FN is not really “far right”—–except that it is against more in-migration of Islam. Some people don’t understand that opposing Islam—–one of the least liberal ideologies on earth—–is actually a leftward thing to be doing.
      (Leftists do not translate this as “Hate Muslims”. Leftists correctly translate the struggle as “Curb Belief in Islam” (because it’s baloney).

    • Curious Mayhem

      Yes, “right” here is an ambiguous term. In the English-speaking world, “right” usually means free markets, limited government, and individual and community responsibility.

      In continental Europe, because of the influence of French practice and German thinkers, it means something quite different: statist, often suffocatingly so, including various forms of romatic collectivism.

    • ninjapirate

      Because unlike in the angloshpere, she would like to conserve something more than money.

      • ojfl

        I think you will have to expand on your answer ninjapirate.

  • R. Howell

    Sure would be helpful if this article mentioned when the election will be held. Oh, a little Google searching clarifies why that bit of information is not included: the next election won’t be till 2017, which means this tidbit means almost nothing.

    • Corlyss

      Your trenchant observation confirms what I wrote in my reply to OJ: the kind of people who write for AI/VM use the term to scare themselves. Chicken Little comes to mind . . . .

  • Breif2

    “If the upcoming French presidential elections were held today, the controversial far-right politician Marine Le Pen would take the lead.”

    The recent anti-Semitic riots, courtesy of n-th generation immigrants, certainly haven’t hurt her popularity. Too many French might not particularly mind the fact Jews are victimized, but they don’t enjoy rampaging mobs. Ironically, it seems an increasing number of Jews intend to vote for the Front National. (Sorry, the far-right Front National.) They’re uncomfortable with the whiffs of anti-Semitism wafting from it, but they have a bigger threat to worry about.

    • Curious Mayhem

      Oh yes. I saw and heard just that when I was in France two years ago. French Jews considering voting for Marine comfort themselves with the thought that they were voting for her and not her father. The anti-semitism is more like a faint stench of something buried, with haste and embarassment, at night n the back yard.

      The sad thing is that France has been a welcoming home for immigrants willing to become French (for example, Sarkozy’s parents). It’s different from the American paradigm, but at its best, it worked well.

      It seems, though, that with the coming of younger Muslim immigrants, the power of Frenchification has met its match in the “undigestible” subculture.

  • Rick Johnson

    I understand that Marine Le Pen would cut back on immigration from the Middle East. Given the antisemitism of many of the immigrants to France from the Middle East and the violent attacks on Jews in France, many French Jews would be looking to the National Front to protect their interests.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Without necessarily endorsing Le Pen or FN, I would add that the French Christians and French secularists have just as much gain as the French Jews by slowing down—–if possible—–Islam in Europe.

      • Corlyss

        Methinks you’re a clearer thinker than most of that crowd of opinion-makers in Europe. I’ve been following their contortions over immigration and the Muslim problem ever since I read that Atlantic article “Must it be the Rest against the West?” in 1994. They aren’t getting any smarter with time and experience.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Well, you probably suspect from other posts here that I am a leftie—–which is true of me on most matters. But I am an “independent” leftie on THIS who has been bashed THOROUGHLY in left-wing places for not accepting Islam with an “open mind”. I happen to believe that liberals are not called to give even an ounce of credibility to the idea that the sayings of Mohammad (Koran and Hadiths) supersede everything else in human thought—-the belief required of anyone purporting to be a Muslim of any kind. I don’t like the affront to Christians of Jesus being “supposedly” supplanted by some dude with too many wives arriving 600 (or so) years late, and I don’t like the idea of atheists or others being harassed with it either.
          Thankfully, here in the West, we have the freedom to simply deny—-and forcefully—that Mohammad is THE “Prophet”. It’s simply a colossal fib which has polluted a billion people and we should all say so.

    • Corlyss

      One would think so. But if the Jews in Europe vote as consistently stupidly monolithically for the most left candidate on the ballot, as they do here in the US, they’re likely in for a big shock.

  • Duperray

    In an era where medias are 100% one-sided (leftist in France, like US), despite the exceptional loud anti-FN campaign initiated by Mitterand 35 years ago, diabolizing them so much that none of the other rightist parties even dare to agree upon a local electoral alliance, it is surprising to see 1/4 population telling they would elect FN.
    Socialist party, unbelievely supported, praised by any media channel, up to undencency, peforms less. As you know, more than 80% of public opinion is raised by these one-sided media.
    You are surprised of this? Just a test:
    During 2012 french presidency electoral campaign, someone made an internal pool gathering all journalists in France: 100%, without one single exception, “voted” for le leftist candidate. I would have been seriously concerned if 55% of them would have done so, even if 45% were of opposite opinion.
    This results from the severe candidate’s opinion selection performed of student by authorities before starting this cursus. Journalists are not ordinary citizens, they elaborate most of opinion, whilst You and me cannot. So, you may imagine the content of their TV shows with all tricks!
    You have lived the same during 2012 US president election where a similar internal ballot gave close to 99% in favor of Obama, but fortunately, one single journalist voted for Bill. No surprise that 90% of media play was in favor of Barack Hussein and 75% of negative madia plays were agianst Bill ! One can wonder whether these elections were fair?
    FN is not nazi, otherwise all successive right and left governmets had enough time and legal laws to interdict it, jail its leaders. Apparently there was no evidence.
    Therefore in our apparent free world, Freedom of thinking is less and less granted.

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