Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Rassemblement National

Marine le Pen: Presidential “first Choice” for French 25 to 34 Year olds.

with 8 comments

France's Le Pen, at record high in polls, proposes hijab ban | Arab News

Marine le Pen: Presidential “first Choice” for 25 to 34 Year olds,

Le Monde has this story “If abstention remains officially the first choice of “first-time voters”, the voting intentions for young people in their late twenties and early thirties are for Marine Le Pen vote while 18-24 year olds lean more towards Emmanuel Macron.”

While the intention to abstain remains strong amongst those in the 25 to 34 cohort, “only 20% want to vote for Macron. Marine Le Pen has increased her backing from 23% in 2017 to 29% today.

“What is very striking,” says the deputy director of the polling institue Ipsos, “is that these young people, even more than the wider population, have deserted the traditional parties that were the Socialist Party and the Republicans (conservative right wing . They are looking for something else, something radical.  In 2017, it was Mélenchon and partly Macron, today it is still a little Mélenchon and much more the greens, but support for the Rassemblement National has grown significantly.

The historical links between Marine Le Pen’s party and its extreme right violent founders, illustrated by her father Jean Marie Le Pen’s comments on the gas chambers as a “detail of history”, no longer appear to repel large numbers of voters.

46% of young people believe that the RN is an honest party, that it is “capable of having a vision of the future for France” (45% among RN voters, 49% among 18-30 year olds).

An accompanying interview with the sociologist Anne Muxel is headlined: 

« Le clivage gauche-droite a perdu de sa pertinence chez les jeunes.”The left-right divide has lost its relevance among young people.

In effect that while backing the Greens or La France insoumise could channel the same anti-system protest vote casting a ballot for the far right, Muxel draws a parallel between the protest, radical vote, on the extreme right is and support for La France insoumise,  She argues that Jean-Luc Mélenchon had known how to attract a a section of young people unhappy with the with the in-government official left. He also had a very good campaign aimed at young people, using their channels and vectors of expression.

The RN has also, it is widely reported, largely succeeded in a process of “detoxification” or “de-demonisation” of its brand which began with Marine Le Pen’s ascension to leadership of the Front National, name change to the Rassemblent National, (‘re-branding’) in 2017 and continues with her (formal) resignation of Party leader to stand for next year’s Presidential elections as the candidate for  “all French people,” 

One of the most important reasons for this development is that the French left is fragmented, Mélenchon is not a unifying figure, and people, young or old, cannot see a an alternative ‘bloc de gauche’ as a serious contender in the Presidential elections against either Macron or Le Pen.

The FT has the story today:

French politics: Macron faces test of character as Le Pen’s popularity grows

Victor Mallet

It would be a political earthquake as disruptive as the UK referendum vote for Brexit in 2016 and the election of Donald Trump as US president later that year. Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s extreme right Rassemblement National party, is doing so well in the polls that she threatens to foil Emmanuel Macron’s re-election bid and could win next year’s presidential vote to become the country’s first far-right leader since the second world war.


The latest opinion polls suggest Le Pen has a real chance of winning, representing a significant threat to the French establishment and the unity of the EU.


Next year, according to the latest opinion polls, Le Pen could lead in the first round and therefore be assured of a place in the final, and if it is Macron that makes it through as well then he is currently forecast to win by as little as 53 per cent to 47 per cent, according to a Harris Interactive-L’Opinion poll in March. The front républicain system is crumbling because many leftwing voters say they will abstain. Some may even vote for Le Pen, whose strongholds are in the industrial towns of the north once dominated by communists.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 5, 2021 at 1:10 pm

National Populist Marine Le Pen Tops French Opinion Poll.

with 4 comments


Marine Le Pen Tops Poll.


Le Monde:

Presidential: Marine Le Pen’s last chance in 2022

Seventeen months before the election, the president of the National Rally appears in the polls as the main opponent of Emmanuel Macron.

Marine Le Pen, who is due to present her New Year greeting to the press on  Monday January 25, is still given as the main competitor of Emmanuel Macron, seventeen months before the presidential election, even if the political landscape is ever-changing. An IFOP-Fiducial poll for CNews and Sud Radio in June 2020 even credited the president of the Rassemblement National (RN) with 45% of the voting intentions in the second round, if it was necessary to vote immediately. And above all 40% of the voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2017 would be ready to vote for her, and 33% of those of François Fillon (republican right-wing).

This Poll was taken seventeen months, before the French Presidential election.

Marine Le Pen’s Party Le Rassemblement National, RN,  (ex-Front National) topped the 2019 European Election poll in France, winning 23,34% of the vote.

Now she is credited with 26%

Marcon remains popular, despite disquiet at his high-handed way of dealing with politics. Demands for more resources to fight Covid19 and mass protests at a new security law which will ban people taking pictures of the police in action and increase surveillance.

The classic ‘governing’ right wing (the present incarnation of Nicolas Sarkozy’s party) Les Républicaines (LR), at 16% is down from their 20.1% score in the 2017 Presidential elections.

Jean Luc-Mélenchon, at 10%  is well down from his 19.58% result in the same contest.

At 7% he national populist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan  is slightly up from his 2017 4,70%

There is no clear Socialist Party candidate – it could well be, to say the least, Anne Hidalgo rather than the sovereigntist Arnaud Montebourg who is ploughing his own path. Other forces on the left are likely to be more favourable to her – as Mayor of Paris she governs with the support of a wide range of left wing forces, including the Communists and Greens.

Marine Le Pen has been compared to Donald Trump.

The RN’s national populism could be say to have parallels with Make America Great Again her organisation’s origins and  strategy has been very different.

TO begin with the Front National was founded by members of the revolutionary nationalist group  Ordre nouveau. Jean-Marie Le Pen  had a long, and violent history on a French far-right which goes back to supporters of the Vichy regime and fighters for l’Algerie Française.

As they have emerged as electoral force in the 1980s a  prime aim has been to purse the long-term Front National of “ dédiabolisation“. (literally de-demonise). That is, to exorcise that past.

When Marine Le Pen took over the reins ten years ago the renaming of the party as the RN was a new turn in this long-term strategy.  She further attempted to tone down her party’s language, using  allusions rather than direct attacks on “enemies” of France and the French, defending the Republic despite the presence of extreme-right Monarchists around the party, supporting Laïcité while her backers are often traditionalist Catholics – a ‘secularism’ aimed  against Muslims.

Dix ans de Marine Le Pen à la tête du RN: la grande arnaque de la «dédiabolisation»


Marine Le Pen has only pursued this strategy with more or less the same recipes: recruitment of executives doing well in the media – Florian Philippot was the perfect example for years – distancing himself, officially, distancing her self from extremist groups, polishing her speech to make its racism and xenophobia largely euphemistic… Marine Le Pen used the expression “national priority” rather than “national preference” , too overtly discriminating…

In 2012 they created a broader front, the le Rassemblement Bleu Marine, to attract the traditional right and former socialist sovereigntists. Yet as Mediapart notes, the core of the party remains far-right, to the point where the street fighters of the Groupe Union Défense (GUD) and extreme racists linked to Alain Soral’s Égalité et Réconciliation, have roles in the organisation.

While it has 6 deputies in the National Assembly, 1 Senator, 306 regional councillors and 827 local councillors, at  83 000 members (a figure hotly disputed, “ selon des sources internes, entre 20 000 et 25 000“.) The RN is not a mass movement. Run from the top down with a structure not far off “democratic centralism” it also not a totalitarian mass party with a military wing.

Not only is Marine Le Pen more measured in tone than Trump has ever been, but she has no militias behind her, nor supporters ready to rampage through the Assemblée National.

She is actually a lot milder than Brendan O’Neill….

And there is no French far-right mass media to compete with the British extreme nationalist press.




Written by Andrew Coates

January 25, 2021 at 12:32 pm

First Round of French Local Elections: Set Back for Macron, Greens and Left in Strong Position.

with 4 comments

Second Round May Be Postponed.

The Right wing daily Le Figaro began its report on the first round of the French local elections by citing supporters of President Macron’s Party, LaREM, (1) lamenting their set-back, “Pas bon du tout»«catastrophique»«c’est un échec»…”


(1) I like this Wikipedia explanation, “La République En Marche ![a] (frequently abbreviated REMLRM or LREM, officially LaREM; possible translation: “The Republic on the move!”), sometimes called En Marche ! (French: [ɑ̃ maʁʃ]; English translation: “Forward!”,[11][12] “Onward!”,[13] “Working!” or “On The Move!”)” Some might suggest this indicates a pretty transient name for a political party.

Putting back the Second Round will create a legal headache.

Despite the bizarre conditions in which the vote took place, the left and the Greens have still something to be happy about:

The Greens (EELV) are in a good position in Bordeaux, (an historic bastion of the right)  Lyon, Strasbourg, Poitiers and Besançon as wella s to keep control of Grenoble, where most of the left have gathered on a united list.

EELV are encouraged by the results:

The Paris vote was good for the left.

The Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, (LaREM) did not win in the first round in Le Havre,  his Communist Opponent performed strongly.

Municipales : c’est loin d’être gagné pour Edouard Philippe au Havre

Phillippe scored  43,6 % and his Communist rival, Jean-Paul Lecoq, backed by La France insoumise, won  35,88 %. The Greens, supposed by the Parti Socialiste, got 8,3% and the far-right RN, had 7,27%.

This prediction for the Second Round may be optimistic:

The French Communist Party (PCF) is encouraged more widely (l’Humanité).

Les maires PCF de Montreuil, Gennevilliers, Dieppe, Martigues, Vierzon, Montataire, Saint-Amand-les-Eaux et Tarnos ont, notamment, été réélus dès hier.

The far-right consolidated its position but apart from Perpignan (which is personally saddening) made no gains.

There was therefore no breakthrough for the far right.

Sur fond d’abstention record, la formation de Marine Le Pen a profité comme les autres partis de la «prime» aux sortants. Mais à part Perpignan, elle n’apparaît pas en mesure d’agrandir sa toile.

The election atmosphere is reported to have been extremely odd.

The rate of abstention  was, unsurprisingly,  very high:

Green surge and low turnout as virus fears weigh on French local elections

France 24.

French voters cast their ballots Sunday in nationwide municipal elections marked by record-low turnout after the government imposed stringent restrictions on public life in an increasingly frantic effort to slow the progress of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The report continues,

In the most keenly watched race, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo took a commanding lead with 30% of the first-round ballot, 8 points ahead of her conservative challenger; the candidate for Macron’s ruling party was a distant third.

Running for re-election in Le Havre, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe topped the first round but faced the prospect of a tough run-off vote against a united left.

The famous port, Le Havre, was Communist run City until 1995. I visited it, circa 1994, and out of curiosity, went to the union offices in the Bourse du Travail where a T & G card did wonders.

They recommended me the Town Hall, where I was received by the PCF run team with great respect, a snack, and they talked about their municipal politics.

Apart from the shock administered to Macron’s Prime Minister it is good to see how low the far-right vote was in that City.