EuroNews, April 21, 2006
France’s extreme right and its most prominent leader Jean Marie Le Pen are still forces to be reckoned with, according to a poll published in the Metro a national newspaper.
More than a third of French voters surveyed say the extreme right, represented largely by Le Pen and his National Front party, comes closest to addressing national concerns.
Speaking on national television, Le Pen said he was capable of winning when France goes to the polls a year from now.
Le Pen caused a political shock four years ago when he made it to the presidential run-off. He was ultimately defeated by incumbent President Jacques Chirac.
A third of voters surveyed credit the extreme right with enriching political debate in France.
Support for the extreme right remains strongest in rural areas.
Analysts say the wave of rioting which swept the country last year and recent mass protests against a controversial labour law have helped the extreme right to consolidate its following.