French politics: The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen

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French politics


France’s mainstream parties must do more to counter the far-right National Front

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ALMOST 13 years have passed since the then leader of the Front National (FN), Jean-Marie Le Pen, shocked the world by reaching the run-off in the presidential election of 2002. The far-right party, now led by his daughter, Marine, came first in last year’s European elections. It is expected to be top again in the first round of local elections on March 22nd, with perhaps 30% of the vote. Back in 2002 Le Pen père was so widely loathed that the left and the right rallied around Jacques Chirac, who won the run-off easily. Today, by contrast, there is no such united front. Instead, mainstream politicians openly speculate about Ms Le Pen reaching the second round in the 2017 presidential election—and, just conceivably, winning it.
Ms Le Pen is a more appealing political leader than her father. To …<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>