Le Pen Shocks France as Far Right Hits Historic Heights

Sarah Leduc, France 24, April 23, 2012

Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen obtained a surprising 18% of the vote in the first-round of France’s presidential election Sunday night. But who will those votes go to in the second round?

Having secured nearly one in five votes cast in the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday, far right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen has the potential to swing what is likely to be a close second round on May 6.

But for the moment, Marine Le Pen is not asking her supporters to choose between incumbent centre-right President Nicolas Sarkozy or Socialist challenger François Hollande. Instead, she is basking in the glory of her surprisingly strong showing—more than 18% of the vote—and touting her party’s central message: that the two main parties interchangeably represent the “elite”, while she is the one true alternative to the status-quo in French politics.

“Tonight is historic,” Le Pen gushed to her supporters gathered in the 15th district of Paris on Sunday. “We are the only opposition to the ultra-liberal, libertarian left-wing.”

Smiling and putting her hand to her heart, the National Front leader led the room in singing the French national anthem. A little girl, carried away by the festive atmosphere on election day, ran through the crowds carrying a tricoloured flag.

Across the room, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the aging former leader of the party (and father of Marine) looked on with pride. “This is the start of a long road to a future victory,” he told a group of journalists. “Marine is the only one offering a path of change.”

Marine, the face of the new far right

More than 500 supporters came out to celebrate Le Pen’s strong first-round showing on Sunday night. Couples, families, and groups of friends brandishing “Marine for President” banners and decked out in “I Love Marine” pins and red-white-and-blue outfits and makeup, sipped white wine.

The mood was one of pride and accomplishment. “Marine defends the values and traditions of France. That’s why I voted for her,” said 22-year-old Jérémie. “I handed out pamphlets, I did everything I could, and it paid off.”

A more seasoned National Front loyalist, 42-year-old Jean-Christophe, explained his reasons for supporting the candidate. “I’m against legalising immigrants without papers, no exceptions….We’re not able to welcome them properly, so we should offer them aid in their own countries,” he said.

Others were eager to point Marine Le Pen as a symbol of an evolving, more inclusive far-right party. Whereas her father, who acted as party president from 1972 to 2011, was known for inflammatory racist and anti-Semitic statements, Marine ran a campaign tightly focused on economic protectionism and an exit from the Eurozone.

“People need to stop calling us fascists, Nazis, and racists—it’s ridiculous,” exclaimed Carl, aged 46, from Corsica. “I like everyone, no matter what the colour of their skin is!”

A ‘turning point’ in French politics?

According to her supporters, Le Pen’s historically strong performance Sunday night catapults her to the centre of the French political scene, making her a force that cannot be ignored by Sarkozy, Hollande, and their respective parties.

“It’s a major turning point in French politics,” said Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, Marine Le Pen’s niece. “The candidates in the second round will be obligated to consider our policy proposals and solutions.”

Le Pen is expected to clarify her position on the second-round face-off on May 1, just days before the final vote on May 6. National Front Vice-President Louis Alliot suggested on Monday that Le Pen would not formally endorse either candidate “as things stand”.

But some National Front voters may feel they have no other option. Antoine, a 46-year-old Corsican, said that his priority was to prevent the left from taking over the presidency and therefore guaranteeing France “a future like that of Greece”. He, as well as the four friends who accompanied him Sunday night, will therefore vote—grudgingly—for Sarkozy.

Others will stay home. “Sarko and Hollande are the same,” one Le Pen supporter told France24.com. “They’re both defenders of executives and big bosses, not the working class—unlike Marine. I’ll stay in bed for the second round.”

According to a poll published by Ipsos, a French market research company, 18% of National Front voters will vote for Hollande in the second round, while 60% will opt for Sarkozy.

22%, however, have not yet decided.

 

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  • MLP’s 17.9% of the vote this weekend was highest national percentage take for the FN in any French national election.  It bested both her father’s take in the first round and in the runoff in 2002.  That’s the only consolation we can take from MLP not finishing in first or second this year.

  • Boereseun

    While it is very good showing by Marine Le Pen. Comments like these worry me.

    “People need to stop calling us fascists, Nazis, and racists—it’s
    ridiculous,” exclaimed Carl, aged 46, from Corsica. “I like everyone, no
    matter what the colour of their skin is!”

    You either fight for a France that is French, i.e. white, or you watch your France disappear down into a third world hell hole with alien cultures and races who don’t give a crap about the tricoloured flag or the welfare of the French people. When will the realisation come that these ‘people of colour’ will not assimilate and nor do they want to? For the love of white humanity, they should stop pandering to the forces of multiculturalism and multiracialism.

    I would love to get behind a lot of these new ‘Far Right’ parties in Europe but sometimes they don’t seem legitimate and just seem to be cashing in on the discontent of the average white European.

    •  What kind of France do they want? The France that they remember with pride after WW2 after the Nazis were defeated or the France that does not know what they stand for because everybody is living by their own cultural standards without a national identity.

      • Jerrybear

        Ironic huh? Germany’s quest to make Europe German (white) has resulted in the exact opposite direction where Europe is so anti-fascist and anti-nationalist that it has opened the gates to be colonized by the inferiors of their former colonies. Very sad indeed.

        • The__Bobster

          It’s called Hitler’s Revenge.

    •  Ah my friend, don’t forget that explicit White racial consciousness can get you thrown in jail.

      France has strong laws for people who say naughty things, ie – “hate” speech.

      • Boereseun

        Of course; but either a leader stands up for his or her people, at the threat of death or imprisonment; or they lead their people to destruction. Any French leader who thinks they can assimilate the non-native populations is either highly delusional or has another agenda, one more inclined with the socialist parties of Europe, i.e. the complete destruction of the Nations of Europe.

    • Impertinent

      “I would love to get behind a lot of these new ‘Far Right’ parties in Europe”..

      Like that guy in Norway? Anders Behring Breivik..?

  • Hunter Morrow

    Wasn’t a shock to me. Most people called third place, many hoped for second. 20 percent sounds about right.

  • The french are doomed!

    Only 1 out of 5??? 

    • StivD

      Well, only the 1 out of 5 that voted. There may be other sympathetic people.

  • jackellis

    “We are the only opposition to the ultra-liberal, libertarian left-wing.”
    Well said. Don’t any Amren readers get taken in by lying, idiot libertarians.

    • Jerrybear

      There are many flaws to libertarianism. That being said, I don’t think it’s wise to alienate natural allies. Libertarians, though cowardly regarding race, are much better than your typical neocon Republican.

  • Impertinent

    ” “Marine defends the values and traditions of France. That’s why I voted for her,” said 22-year-old Jérémie. “I handed out pamphlets, I did everything I could, and it paid off.”

    Damn right. This is a huge awakening for the French. La Pen and her followers know…that in order for France to be French…and to be able to continue to be French…they need to eliminate the scourge that ails France today…..Islamists, burkas and Muslims. Period.

  • THE FRENCH REFUSED TO PRAY TO A CHRISTIAN GOD BUT THEY WILL BE FORCED TO PRAY TO A MUSLIM ONE

    Who really cares who they buy their French wine, cheese, or perfume from.  If Muslims sell the stuff and run France who cares.  The French don’t care anymore.  Franco-stan will still be part of Euro-stan.

  • “We should send them aid in their own countries.”

    What for? What have they done to earn it? How will France benefit?

    It’s no different than giving the bully your lunch money so he won’t beat you up.

    Instead of aid, how about 20 lashes and brute force – that will increase their productivity and teach them something about the value of work. As long as there’s dirt to dig, trees to cut, and rocks to move there’s work to do. 20 hours a day doing this is fair trade for aid.

  • KenelmDigby

    Although Marine Le Pen did not actually win the French presidency, this is an important symbolic victory for nationalism not just in France but all of continental Europe.
     The point is that the French political class cannot ignore and marginalize the FN any longer – they have to deal with it and cope with it and take its policies on board if they wish to retain power.
     Basically what we have seen is a sea-change in French politics.It is the beginning of a long slow march to power for the FN.There is no going back now, the political class must cope with the FN whether they like it or not.

  • The__Bobster

    Rapture bunnies who support Santorum despise Ron Paul.

  • StivD

    That percentage is apparently a lot in European politics. The vote can be divided in so many ways.

  • KenelmDigby

    Possible, but don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

    Perhaps the most significant development is the growing realisation that the EU is destroying living standards and destroyinh lives, rather than being the ‘progressive’ wealth creating force its supporters paint it to be.
    The EU is a busted flush – all it has to offer is pain, pauperization and black people.

  • jeffaral

    As 20-25% of the voters are of immigrant stock, we can conclude that around 30% of the indigenous French voted for Marine.   

  • Boereseun

    No disagreements from me, I honestly do hope she and her supporters can do what needs to be done to turn the situation in France around for the best. That certainly wasn’t my quibble. I stated that the comment made by the Corsican man worried me. I didn’t say it was the official policy of the FN or that Marine was not a leader who would stand up for her people. I sincerely hope she is such a leader.

    I will say this, as a South African, we’ve heard it all before and were betrayed by our so called leaders and are now in a situation where everything that we built and died for is in the hands of our enemy. Our history is being scrapped, our towns and cities destroyed and renamed. Our universities of learning turned into affirmative action power houses, our pride turned into shame. I would not wish that on anyone.

    Therefore, I always advise caution when dealing with politics, never overly trust a politician. The only leader I would trust is one I can have an open and truly honest discussion with. One who doesn’t hide from the truth because it might not be politically correct. A leader must be someone with pride for their people, pride that allows them to be called a ‘racist’ and a ‘Neo Nazi’ for standing up for what they know is right and still come off smelling like roses.

    • njguy83

      This is a really positive result, the best ever for the FN percentage wise. I’ am surprised by how many negative responses are on this thread although I argree with much of what Boereseun said.

      Le Pen’s father has made tons of comments over the years that are literally torns from the pages of AR comment sections I don’t think people should worry that much about what random supporters or even officials say to BBC reporters,etc.

      Having millions of people vote for a candidate whose party pushed nationalist/racialist ideology is pretty impressive. As is seeing pictures and video of thousands of native French cheering  her on at campaign rallies.

      Nothing like this is close to happening here in the states.

  • Impertinent

    Better a Mormon that a half assed muslim.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

     And so again, religion (Christianity) divides whites and will defeat them and Obama will get a second term.

  • StivD

    Yeah, there are sometimes people who would throw away pretty decent race realists, and white advocates, because they don’t always see things exactly the same way as others.

    I won’t try to pass a litmus test to be a part of standing up for my own.