Destinations Magazine

Outflanking Marine

By Stizzard
Outflanking Marine

MARINE LE PEN and her far-right National Front (FN) began December looking like the leaders of a new wave of European populist nationalism. They were on the verge of winning two of France’s regional elections and upsetting the country’s traditionally bipartisan politics. Instead, mainstream parties manoeuvred to keep the FN out. Now some on France’s centre-left hope this strategy could signal a deeper realignment. That is less far-fetched than it sounds. With many European countries facing populist insurgencies, parties of the centre-left and centre-right find themselves co-operating to hold off the upstarts.

The FN under Ms Le Pen, a softer version of the xenophobic party founded in 1972 by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, came top in first-round voting to regional assemblies on December 6th. The party notched up a record 40% in the north, where Ms Le Pen ran, and the south, where her 26-year-old niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, did. These leads did not translate into a single victory at second-round voting on December 13th, chiefly because of a tactical decision by the governing Socialists to sacrifice their own candidates….

The Economist: Europe

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