France's Le Pen on track for regional power with an eye on presidency

France's Le Pen on track for regional power with an eye on presidency

6/19/2021 2:46:00 AM

France's Le Pen on track for regional power with an eye on presidency

France's far-right National Rally party looks set to top Sunday's first round regional vote.

The National Rally are making the most of it."Real" right-wing voters were being turned off the centre right, Thierry Mariani told journalists this week, by a list of candidates that was "more and more the list of Macron".Difficult vote for Macron's party

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France's governing party is contesting its first regional election. Formed just five years ago, it so far has few roots at the local level. Polls suggest it's possible that La République En Marche won't win a region at all."We're new," said Marlène Schiappa, the minister in charge of citizenship who is the party's top candidate in Paris. "We don't have officials already elected, yet we're always second or third in the polls. We're on an upward trajectory."

image copyrightimage captionMarlène Schiappa argues that France's political mainstream should unite against the far rightAlliances made sense in some places, she told us, and given the threat posed by the far right, France's traditional parties should "ally to form a collective block against [them]".

The National Rally is currently predicted to win around 40% of the vote here on Sunday.That's pretty much the score it won in the first round of the last regional elections in 2015, only to be defeated in the run-off by other parties working together to keep them from power.

Jail for man who slapped Macron on official visitCould Le Pen shatter 'glass ceiling'?The pattern is so familiar to the National Rally that pollsters have nicknamed it their "glass ceiling".But some believe that glass ceiling is now starting to fracture, as voters demand change, and concerns over security and immigration increase.

"For a long time, a vote for the National Rally was a vote of protest against mainstream parties," says Jean-Philippe Dubrulle of the Ifop polling agency."That's changed since Emmanuel Macron's victory [in 2017] erased mainstream parties. Now you have a situation where, if you don't agree with Mr Macron - and a majority of French don't agree with him - the most efficient way to express that is to vote for Marine Le Pen."

media captionPresident Macron was slapped in the face on a visit to south-eastern France earlier this monthAt least one of the stallholders in the market thinks it's all over-stated. "There's always talk around election-time of a win for Le Pen, but it never actually comes," he told me, declining to give his name.

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"People say they're going to vote for them now, but at the last minute they won't. We have bad memories of the party and its racist past."image copyrightGetty ImagesIf he's right, that's a change in itself. It used to be the case that Le Pen supporters were shy of sharing their intentions, while voting for her in private.

The first signs of how much really has changed will come on Sunday, but the proof will have to wait for the run-off in a week's time.The whole point of a glass ceiling is that you can't see it. Until it's tested, it's not easy to see when it's gone.

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Le Pen Is Far, Far, Far More Honest than Macron! Good hope she wins the presidency then there will be Frexit! The french have wanted out for years but the bell end presidents won’t tolerate it! 'SO SUPREME'...xxxx always been loved Surely they can move past this Again? People really don't learn, do they?

Good luck Le Pen. Need to watch the Generals who threatened a military coup God forbid. Gross racist At last, some excellent news What a mess

This is what happens when you don’t listen to the silent majority, we’ve seen it in the States and throughout countries in Europe. iTiffanique Not her again. Have European countries not learned anything from this Trump disaster in the US? I hope and pray the French people have more sense than to allow a crazy right-winger to end up in the presidency. Trust and believe, they will live to regret it. We have in the US.

Nope!! Dear Europe. French Trump is coming. It's fine. this is terrible. Cool. God help us all. That damn hobgoblin just won't go away