Asia Unhedged | The Front is spreading: why Marine Le Pen could still win
Despite polls showing a lead for Emanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen's chances may be better than many think.
Despite polls showing a lead for Emanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen's chances may be better than many think.
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The Front is spreading: why Marine Le Pen could still win

The French political landscape is vastly different from that of the US, but this election feels strikingly similar to last November.

April 4, 2017 9:21 PM (UTC+8)

On November 8 of last year, hours before votes were cast in the US presidential election, Reuters ran the headline “Clinton has 90 percent chance of winning.” Fast forward to the current run up to French elections and you see a similar complacency that Emanual Macron will beat the nationalist Marine Le Pen.

The parallels are striking. Not long ago Le Pen’s National Front party was considered too far out of the mainstream to be taken seriously. Certainly, in the US few took Donald Trump seriously as a candidate even just one year ago at the outset of the Republican Party presidential primary elections.

Today, by many accounts, despite expectations that the globalist Macron will ultimately prevail in the second round of voting, there are signs that Le Pen’s draw among French voters is spreading.

The below excerpt from a Bloomberg account of the French presidential race in the southern city of Perpignan echoes the accounts that Asia Unhedged continues to hear from French voters. But we would add to this account that there are signs even segments of the Parisian elite, perhaps only privately, are aligning themselves with Le Pen on the issue of immigration.

“Marine Le Pen’s potent mix of old-school left-wing economics and diatribes against immigrants resonates in this part of the country — and has brought the National Front closer than ever before to taking power in France. While the Parisian elite is detached from the day-to-day battle with nationalism, the ruling class in the regional capital of Perpignan has been battling to keep its voters away from extremists for decades. ‘The Front is spreading,’ Mayor Jean-Marc Pujol said in an interview. ‘There are districts in the north of Perpignan which used to be communist and now they are voting for the Front because they worry about immigration.'”

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