Monday, 28 March 2011

Although the Front National won only two seats in the election, an analysis of the results published in Le Soir shows it has made very significant progress in challenging establishment politics in France (which Marine Le Pen derisively describes as the UMPS party, combining the letters of the two major parties in France, the UMP and PS).

An election analysis published in Le Soir shows that the FN managed to gain votes from all parties, even significant numbers from former Socialist voters. It performed well in all possible second-round match-ups, gaining more than 40% of the vote in places.

The quoted figure of 11-12% of the vote understates its performance because the two-round nature of the cantonal elections mean that it did not appear in the second-round everywhere. Considering only the cantons where it was present, it gained an average of 35.8% in the second round, an impressive result.

There is more good news for the Front National today in a poll which found that 52% of the French people now consider the FN to be "a party like any other". This is the first time that a majority has favoured this point of view.

Interestingly, although the FN appeals to French voters on issues like islamification and immigration, on other issues it is less convincing. Only 17% favoured withdrawing from the euro compared to 82% against; while only 15% supported withdrawal from the European Union compared to 84% against. It seems French support for the European Union and the Euro is much more deeply rooted than in Britain, even among voters who have rejected establishment politics in other areas.


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