France’s National Front Struggles to Turn Popularity into Power

Ingrid Melander, Reuters, March 31, 2015

France’s National Front scored its best ever local election result, but its hopes for power remain thwarted by widespread distaste for its anti-immigration policies and an election system that allows voters to block it from office.

The far-right FN won one in four votes in the first round of local elections on March 22, its highest score ever. In the second round last Sunday, it secured 62 councillors in 14 departmental assemblies, less than 2 percent of councillors nationwide but a big jump from the single councillor it had before.

Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls acknowledged the “lasting upheaval” the FN had brought to an electoral landscape dominated for decades by a center-right and a center-left party.

But FN leader Marine Le Pen had hoped to top the party’s unprecedented victory in last year’s EU elections and the strong showing in the first round of the local elections with another milestone: obtaining control of one or two departments. That did not happen.


Le Pen blamed her party’s failure to win any department on election rules that she said were “made to prevent the FN, and therefore its voters, millions of French people, from having elected officials”.

France’s two-round system, where individual candidates need to attain a threshold to reach the first-past-the-post final round, does indeed put at a disadvantage parties such as the FN who fail to strike alliances with others.

Although some in ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP would be tempted by deals with the FN, both Sarkozy and the Socialists have ruled out alliances with a party that wants to take France out of the euro and is still viewed by many in France as too right-wing to be acceptable.


Building a network of local officials is key to promote Le Pen’s bid for the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections. Her father and party founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, had been content with being an outsider in national polls, but his daughter wants power.

In a telling sign that an FN presence on the center stage of politics has become normal, the party’s recent successes did not provoke a mass outcry such as in 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round of the presidential vote.

His breakthrough took France by surprise and hundreds of thousands took to the streets to march against the FN. By 2015, its leaders have become a regular feature on news shows and supporters readily appear on TV.


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  • Charles Martel

    Having seen the breakdown of the Scottish secession vote with a clear win of those born in Scotland but with 71% of those voting not born there tipped the balance. Lets hope they can get it together before more of the 3rd world can vote for more free stuff

    • Alden

      I thought the Scots national party was extremely left and wanted even more third world immigrants

      • corvinus

        Yeah, Scotland would have turned into Sweden in 20 years if it had seceded.

  • evilsandmich

    As I recall, possibly improperly, the French electoral system was built in order to make it nearly impossible to remove the ruling elite; not that the rest of the world fares all that much better.

    • Sick of it

      I think that sums up every “democratic” government other than…Switzerland?

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Two comments. First, it would be impossible for me to care any less about this and, second, someday the tide will turn. But by then France will have morphed into something foreseeable but unlikable.

    • Weisheit77

      Funny, that’s how I felt about Israel.

      • Alden

        Deacon blue has declared you an anti ….. For that statement.

  • LackawannaErie

    Things are going very well in France. The FN and nationalists in general have been normalized. They are now part of the mainstream. Too many people, including celebrities and prominent intellectuals support them for repression to work. Once you get a certain level of support and people willing to speak up, the kinds of tactics used against nationalists in the US and UK don’t work anymore. You can’t fire 25% of the people from their jobs or ostracize such a large portion of the population into silence.

    Waiting for some grumpy old American conservative Fox News watcher to show up here and tell us that it’s too late in France.

    • Sick of it

      “You can’t fire 25% of the people from their jobs or ostracize such a large portion of the population into silence.”

      You can, but it would almost immediately lead to a revolution.

    • Weisheit77

      Me too… One that preferably never traveled more than three states away unless they were in the military and only speaks one language, yet knows everything about every place in the world.

  • George Costanza

    “When you have 30 or 40 percent for the FN, it
    means there are still 60 or 70 percent who do not want it to win,” said
    political science professor Philippe Cossalter.

    When the flags of jihad wave atop the Eiffel Tower they’ll just shrug their shoulders and go about their business, better that than Marie Le Pen.

    • Charles Martel

      There are a lot of voter for the free stuff parties

      • George Costanza

        Not only should countries be divided among culturally and ethnic lines but political lines as well. One France for the multiculturalists and muslim apologist and another for the traditionalist.

        • Charles Martel

          What is the inevitable flight once the socialists run out of other peoples money, & the 3rd world masses reduce areas to 3rd world conditions?Even the Dominican Republic guards its border with Haiti better than the US southern border.

          • Rustler

            “Socialism” and “other people’s money” are American conservative bugaboos that have nothing to do with politics in France.

        • LHathaway

          That is being arranged in Sweden and the UK. Wales and Scotland as reservations for White traditionalists worried over White extinction in the UK. I sure hope Whites in Sweden like Saab motors .. cause that’s all they’re going to get.

        • bv

          They can cheer for Muslims but you can’t bring them in.

      • bv

        That’s their only reason for living. I heard from Mark Steyn at one time that a Marseille resident didn’t report the death of his aged mother so he could keep on collecting her pension. She was mummified under his bed for I believe 7 years??

        Bantu American depravity with a Caucasian IQ level, that my friend is a dangerous combination!

        • Alden

          It’s happened in Japan and America and other countries

          • bv

            Dependency or mummified mummies??

      • Rustler

        All the parties in France, including the FN are “free stuff parties” by the silly standards of conservatards.

        • jaye ellis

          It’s more than OK to have some “free stuff” in a free, White European society.

          • bv

            The problem is it builds dependency and people never grow up.

        • Alden

          Germany has a lot more free stuff than France. I should know, I lived there for years
          Most conservatives detest France due to their naive and ignorant Anglophilia

    • meanqueen

      As the flags of jihad wave atop the Eiffel Tower: “Will there still be cheese? Wine? Three months’ vacation time each year? Oui? C’est bien.”

  • MekongDelta69

    The ‘right’ is not really the right.

    • bv

      You are the first American to understand the European meaning of “Right”.

    • Weisheit77

      Well, define “right”.

      Which right wing are we talking about? Goose-steeping right wing? Libertarian right wing? Big R Republican Neo-Con right wing? Bibi’s Israel’s right wing? Supporting the Kaiser right wing (monarchist movements)? Big national group right wing or small local autonomy right wing? The “silent minority” “moral majority” Christian right wing?

      Outside of a statement of support for traditional French culture (at least since the revolution) both American parties are to the right of the FN if measured by American definition of right wing.

      • The Dude

        I’ve been following French politics for quite some time now, and here have been the main sticking points between the mainstream Right and Left in the last 3 years or so:

        Actually, the Socialists have basically capitulated on that one lately, and took more reforms to liberate the economy through scrapping some taxes, slightly less regulations and more privatizations. So the two main parties are basically on the same page on the one.

        Left: 250,000 visas issued per year; family reunification; modest ressources for tracking illegals and closing loopholes; easier pathway to citizenship; occasional amnesties.
        Right: 250,000 visas issued per year; family reunification; more ressources for tracking illegals and closing loopholes; occasional amnesties.
        “Far” Right: 10,000 visas issued per year; more ressources for tracking illegals and closing loopholes.

        Crime: Mandatory sentencing
        Left: No.
        Right: Yes.
        “Far” Right: Yes! And build more prisons, allocate more ressources for the police and the gendarmerie, recruit more policemen, give them more prerogatives, and send more of them in “sensitive” suburbs.

        Left: We must eradicate racism and fight against all kinds of discrimination! This is greatest challenge for the nation!
        Right: K.
        “Far” Right: *Whistling, looking away*

        Laicism (French secularism)
        Left: Make it more flexible when it disproportionately impacts certain religious groups (Muslims).
        Right: No.
        “Far” Right: No!

        LGBTs: marriage, IVF, and adoption
        Left: Yes, yes, and yes.
        Right: Yes, no, and yes/no.
        “Far” Right: Yes, no, and no.

        Education: gender studies in elementary schools
        Left: Yes.
        Right: No.
        “Far” Right: No.

        • bv

          Call be a fascist extremist then.

  • Hilis Hatki

    To truly show the dire situation maybe France needs a “Marne Taxi” party. Or just wait till it gets so bad that whites wake up and form the “Fishmongers” party.

    • LHathaway

      They’re going to have to all vote FN.

  • Plenck

    Maybe we could try to spread the term “fake right” in reference to the mainstream “right wing” parties. We could say, “better the far right than the fake right”.

  • Light from the East

    Those French leftists realized they cannot win on their own so they rather to vote for UMP to prevent FN to seize power. Also French incumbent politicians will do whatever they can to keep down FN.

  • jaye ellis

    Afraid the Sarkozy Tribe led fake opposition is a huge problem in France as it is here in the USA. The Neo Conservative false opposition to Leftist, anti White cultural marxism – Neo Con was one of THE worst deceptions forced on our people.

  • nordicman

    That’s because it takes whites a long time to get physical. They have to see no hope, nothing to lose for taking action, and be angry beyond control to take action. I think white males getting softer in the West has been because of nice cushy jobs, materialism, historical guilty, etc.

  • WR_the_realist

    You can be sure the same thing would happen here — if a party against mass immigration and illegal immigration ever gained any popularity, the Democrats and Republicans would band together to defeat it.

  • George Costanza

    A few European contries are gonna fold and let the muslims do what they want, Sweden comes to mind…

  • Alden

    Far right is just an all purpose slur like the way racist is a slur against Whites or homophobe is a slur against anyone who is not enthusiastic about gay marriage.

  • Alden

    Affirmative action was not
    That fast in government jobs because workers can only be fired for cause

    The agencies just
    Stopped hiring Whites. Encouraged blacks to abuse the younger Whites to force trend to quit and forced the older ones into retirement

    It took about 20 years but the ethnic cleansing was accomplished. The police with their guns and many being veterans could have done something but they as well as others did nothing.

  • bv

    Why were comments disabled for the Israel African deportation article??

  • bv

    Watch and learn from Yuri Bezmenov, he predicted this collapse 40 years ago and outlined the process in 1984.

  • Sun

    The culture, institutions, social fabric is more important than the parties. If the Front National don’t understand this, then nothing is achieved. There needs to be a cultural revolution and and “awakening of consciousness.” Then institutions that influence younger generations comes next.