“France’s far right sends shockwaves after electoral breakthrough”

French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) president Marine Le Pen poses after her new-year wishes to the press conference on January 16, 2020 at the party’s headquarters in Nanterre, near Paris. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP) (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

“France’s far right scored a historic success in legislative elections on Sunday, increasing its number of lawmakers almost tenfold and cementing the party’s rise from fringe status to the mainstream opposition.

Since taking the helm of the party in 2011, leader Marine Le Pen has sought to rid the National Front – now called the National Rally (RN) – of the anti-Semitic image it acquired under the nearly 40-year leadership of her father, ex-paratrooper Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Securing 42 per cent in April’s presidential election, Le Pen had already tapped into the general disenchantment with President Emmanuel Macron and identifying anger across the country over the rising cost of living and the decline of many rural communities.

On Sunday, she took that one step further. According to estimates, Le Pen’s party will win between 85 and 90 seats, up from just two in 2012 and eight in 2017, which could make it the second-largest party in parliament. Major pollsters last week estimated just 25-50 seats.

“We have achieved our three objectives: that of making Emmanuel Macron a minority president, without control of power and that of pursuing the political recomposition essential to democratic renewal,” a triumphant Le Pen told reporters after being re-elected in northern France and vowing to be a respectful opposition.

“And of forming a decisive opposition group against the deconstructors from above, the Macronists, and from below, the Nupes,” she added referring to the left wing alliance, which should become the largest opposition bloc in parliament, but whose main far-left party, La France Insoumise, is set to win fewer seats than the RN.” Globe and Mail

““The great movement to the right — that’s done, it’s over,” said Gaël Brustier, a political analyst and former adviser to left-wing politicians. “It won’t set off in the other direction for 20 years.”

Ms. Le Pen is the candidate most likely to face President Emmanuel Macron in a runoff two weeks from initial voting, according to polls.

Ms. Le Pen and her party for decades softened the ground for the growth of the right. But the right’s recent political ascendancy follows many years in which conservatives have successfully waged a cultural battle — greatly inspired by the American right and often adopting its codes and strategies to attract a more youthful audience.

Not only has the French right in recent months wielded the idea of “wokisme” to effectively stifle the left and blunt what it sees as the threat of a “woke culture” from American campuses. But it also has busily established a cultural presence after years with few, if any, media outlets in the mainstream.

Today the French right has burst through social barriers and is represented by its own version of a Fox-style television news channel, CNews, an expanding network of think tanks, and multiple social media platforms with a substantial and increasingly younger following.” New York Times

Comment: It seems that a generation has come to political maturity in France that rejects the idea that people who are culturally French are destined to be threatened with powerlessness in their own country as well as the looming specter of “wokisme” emanating from US universities and media.

This new phenomenon in French politics has been a long time coming, but it is now strong and vital and freed of the stigma of anti-Semitism that so long stained right wing movements in France.

I suspect that this is a peculiarly French developments, brought forth from the depths of the Gallic soul and will not much affect the rest of Europe. pl

France’s far right sends shockwaves after electoral breakthrough – The Globe and Mail

Even Before France Votes, the French Right Is a Big Winner – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

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24 Responses to “France’s far right sends shockwaves after electoral breakthrough”

  1. Le3M says:

    Her father is a great man and correct about most of his views.

  2. Whitewall says:

    It has been very smart tactically to increase their presence in the over all culture. Controlling the politics is one thing but without dominating the culture, any gains will be short lived. A steady march through the institutions is needed to remove the Left. It will be all out culture war, just as it is going to be here.

    • James says:


      “The left” make up 50% of the population – probably more in France. How would you propose to “remove them”?

      Better to work with them. Le Pen has embraced a bunch of leftish policies that are popular with voters but not popular with the richest 1% in France.

      “[Le Pen] has made an ideological shift since 2012, putting the ‘protection’ of workers ahead of economic ‘freedoms,’ using a tactic that has attracted traditional left-wing voters.”

      People on the Left are constantly told that everyone on the Right is evil – and vice versa. It is a consciously organized strategy of “divide and rule”. I think Le Pen understands this.

      • jld says:

        “Le Pen understands this.”

        Indeed, she has been characterised as Center Left. 😀

      • Whitewall says:

        Remove them a little at a time. The Left’s ‘long march through the institutions’ has been wildly successful all over the West. Defeat the Left slowly by using themselves and their playbook(s), eg “Rules for Radicals” against them. The anti Wokisme line of attack may be the most potent weapon at hand.

        America’s ‘new Left’ began in the early 1960s as a tiny minority of true believers. Today they are mainstream. With crashing economies, bad energy policies, transgenderism, and now all out assault on the innocence of children complements of the Left, their is plenty for a smart and savvy new Right to use. “Divide and Rule” can be a smart strategy if ruling is the only goal. There should be more than just doing some of their stuff along with ours. Much more is a stake.

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    Frances’s “far right” lol. And as for a “great movement to the right”, people who write such things should consider whether it is really the right that has moved, or themselves.

    • Whitewall says:

      The Western Left is good at branding their enemies. In Europe, the human deformity that was Hitler, though he be long dead, has been dredged up by left of center candidates since the 1940s to great success. Conservatives tend to shrink away for self protection and self preservation in the face of this assault. Rightists must out brand the Left.

    • Dolores O´Neil says:

      Indeed, such alabances from the media conglomerate suggest that the PTB have decided a u-turn to the right once the “euroleft” governments in the EU got burnt through the dictatorial and ruinous to the middle class “pandemic measures” and the conseuqent inflation plus self-provoked energy and supply crisis to please their masters the other side of the Atlantic.
      It is in this context that you can read the recent development in Colombia…( why this is allowed to ahppen sfter decades of obstruction??? )
      Marine Le Pen was applied the so called “cordon sanitaire” through the past decades until now that she, all of a sudden, rises to first opposition party…Well, we saw exaxtly the same developments with the rise of the NSDAP….When the oligarchies wanted, they rose to power…

      This u-turn to the right will come with the replacement of the “left” in the US in November as it was not able to navigate the Great Reset on impoverishing the US masses without facing a complete default of the country and highly likely wide protests, plus morevoer a sound defeat in Ukraine, a war planned to ruin Russia instead…..

      Marine Le Pen will pledge and submit to the tecnocratic fascism quite easier than it did without thinking twice the “euroleft” governing Spain, for example….
      Being ascende to be the main opposition party in France, which guarantees perpetual privileges over the empoverished masses for decades to come will be the prize.

      That the Sovereign France party achieved only one deputy in the French Assembly tells it as it sounds, France´s sovereignty has fallen.

      Not to mention that the fact that a celar anti-muslim character of Le Pen´s party pays a fertile ground for a long standing divide of the French working masses if not for a future civil confrontation as the welfare state erodes through the dismal managmenet of these past decade but especially through the “pandemic” in fight with any economic, politicval and social reasonement, as Putin celarly stated at the SPIEF, exclusively on behalf of the Davos elites.

      Of course, those in the US who do not spare costs ( spent on the backs of others…) so that to conserve their hegemony and that of their currency, and through that the value of their assests, even those applaud all the way….

      I thought you some here were admirers of De Gaulle…I am seeing I was wrong, you seem to jump in support of whatever that conserves your purchase power….

      We know to date that “democratic elections” are not suhc and thag tghose at the helms manipukate the results in the direction they wish, this is why, as we witness in Germany, there are no changes whomever governs…This is obvious when you do not find any difference between a Davos technocrat like Dragui and an alleged socialist/green coalition like that governing Germany in any issue, especially in that of an open war in Europe.

      In this scenario, what´s the point in going to vote?

      It is said that already a 35% of the population do not read or watch mass media…

      What will happen when the 50%, as happened in France during the past first round election, feels diesnfranchised enough so as to not show to vote and the people ewatch how they are robbed of everything they own on behalf of that a foreign country conserves its decaying hegemony on the world in front of other surging hegemons?

      Would the ruined and squeezed masses not turn to the other hegemons if they promise a more affordable, stable, and prosperous life, and moreover even more freedom?

      Blackmailing has short life on is own, you can not keep rolling on perpetual blackmail, the blackmailed will get rid of you at the frist chance, as it is happening with Asia, Africa and the Middle East…
      The time for Europe, at least for the European masses, will come no doubt….

  4. Polish Janitor says:

    This is really good news for the French citizens for standing up to their national interests and showing real collective political willpower in the recent parliamentary elections. This really brought hope to me that even deep in the heart of Babylon, if common sense and organized action join force good results will follow.
    I would like to remind everyone that let this be a big lesson to those who thought Putin’s absolute dumbass war in Ukraine could put a halt to the neocons’ democratization agenda in Europe. A while ago it was Hungary, now it was France’s turn, the birthplace of modern revolutionary socialism, to show that there is hope for way out of revolutionary socialism. More nations will follow. America in 2024 will follow suit, and will be led by DeSantis and not Trump. This is exactly the way to restore common-sense and national patriotism against the onslaught of revolutionary socialism led by the UN and the Dems in recent years and the reason I argued in this space at the start of the Russian invasion back in February that had Putin waited just for a few more months he would have been able to gradually neutralize this ‘wokesim’ from within Babylon and to prevent its spread. Just take a look at the 3 major models that the common-sense conservatives have in front of them in fighting back against revolutionary socialism:

    1) The Trumpist way: too much chaos, no clear governing agenda but pure populism and all about supporting the Izzies, too much polarization, ultimately ended up in shambles (i.e. Jan 6th event which was totally terrible).

    2) The Putin way: 19th century style invasion, costly, brain-drain, retarded, short-sighted, neocon-friendly, ultimately led to NATO-EU military, economic and cultural consolidation, ultimately ends up in achieving an international ‘pariah state’ status and probably even -god forbids- nuclear escalation.

    3) The principled conservatism way: smart, strategic, expansive, democratic, attracts the crucial centrist voters, attracts the working class, INSPIRES other parliamentary systems to follow suit and first and foremost it has an actually governing philosophy and ways to achieve it. Sure the rhetoric might be populist and anti-wokesim but it is in the public policy domain that wokesim without much polarization can be successfully defeated.

    Also I have very bad news for the people of Colombia for seeing the election of a ‘former’ revolutionary Marxist Guerrilla warlord as president who will bring nothing but misery, economic hardships, rising capital divestments, emulation of Venezuela-style stagflation, incoming mass migration of people to more stable and wealthy nations and so forth. I don’t know why any nation would want to elect a former militant Marxist as president in these perilous times…?! Still Can’t wrap my head around this! Just why!?

    • James says:

      Polish Janitor,

      When I was in Colombia I saw 12 year old girls prostituting themselves in the street while Colombian policemen watched and did nothing to stop it. I’m not a marxist – but I think that many of the criticisms the marxists have of right wing military dictatorships in Latin America are not without merit. I believe that the governments that Colombia has had for the last 40 years can be fairly described as right wing military dictatorships.

      • Polish Janitor says:

        I can understand why many living in Latin America might have intensely negative attitudes toward vicious military rule. Nevertheless, as I understand the situation in Colombia (and the larger Latin America in general) it all comes down to only two options for the citizens: either relative stability, law and order coming out of the barrel which has been historically carried out the ‘Latin American’ style by the brutal military juntas, or the Bolivarian revolutionary Marxists way with its own radicalism, terrible poverty and presidents for life. Unfortunately, I don’t see a third alternative here. It has been like this since the Cold War and fear will remain so for years to come. It’s like the political culture of opposing ends of the spectrum that rules Latin America. During the 1990s and Dubya’s admins there were debates over whether or not a ‘third-way’ could be imagined by creating a unified front against int’l terrorism, while at the same time America would encourage the governments to do two things: 1. free elections, 2. economic liberalization. Well, for example the first gave the so-called ‘pink tide’ of the mid 2000s, along with Chavez and Morales and the second route bankrupted Argentina and artificially empowered mining, agro-business and other corruptions. Mexico was always different as the vicinity to the U.S. and the long-standing exchanges between the two have dampened the effect from either side, so there’s more reservoir of political centrism in Mexico than much of the Latin America. I think now due to the rising economic challenges, a half-stable managerial, technocratic and orderly government is more preferable to a Bolivarian revolutionary socialist one with promises of radical changes. I am amazed how in 2022 people can still easily fall for these utopian far-fetching nonsense revolutionary populism? I fear that the Colombians will soon see the effects of their misplaced trust. They could have at least looked at Chile that elected a young millennial hipster-type bearded socialist revolutionary a while back who promised pretty much the same crap of promising revolution and whatnot, and now is in knee-deep manure. Now the prices of basic items have gone up, taxes have gone up, and the government has decided to tax the rich which will automatically discourage economic vitality all before even marking one year in office!

        • James says:

          The idea that right wing governments in Central America bring prosperity is laughable. Jump on a plane and fly to Guatemala City or Tegucigalpa – the people there are poorer than the people in Managua. Right wing Latin American dictatorships give you poverty AND death squads.

          Chavez did a pretty good job as did Morales (by the standards of the region). Lula did such a good job that even the economist was heaping praise on him for his innovative and effective programs. It’s funny that a Pole is heaping the same praise on Latin American dictators that many Russian babushkas heap on Stalin: “Sure he killed a few million people but he totally improved the economy.”

    • mcohen says:

      P j
      Woke is spelt whoa k!

      The nor left nor right ready narrative
      Known as the muddle on ward
      Has become the objective definitive
      Of whoa k! reward

      A blessed be the bobox
      Obtained straight off the shelf
      For creaming out any wrinkles
      In the deeply furrowed self

    • Dolores O´Neil says:

      What emulation of Venezuela-style stagflation?

      I make you notice we are alreay at stagflation in Europe due the “pandemic measures” and the so much fuelled by Poland “Ukraine War”

      As I said above, there is no more differecne between the Davos right or the Davos left, that is Imperial right or left….

      This is why “revolutionaires” are rised to power…when needed….The onlu genuine revolutinaries are dead, never occupied a parliament seat, less the house of government…

      The same happened during the Bolshevik Revolution…

      This is one thing we have learnt of this willing blowing up of the liberal democratic system based as of lately on casino like financial capitalism, that no revolution, or terrorist group, in the world have been was if not with the consent and support of the PTB.

      This is why in spite of the ruinous undemocratic times in Europe nobody rises a head, becuase thre is no government or nation supporting anybody except the terrorists nazi battallions in Ukraine and the rest of Europe or the “jihadists” in Syria…

    • Bill Roche says:

      Two comments on your interesting post. Trump was/is NOT divisive. You have been told that by the socialist propaganda press. The socialists, of course, want him seen as divisive. The RINO’s, who view him as a threat to THEIR PARTY of prof. pols (aka, slime), see him as divisive. Socialists propaganda has labeled him so and you have bought in! You have fallen for their ruse. Trump d/n create the division, he’s a product of it. Very different. As to your question re the people of Columbia the answer is simple, jealousy. That is always the reason for socialism. That socialism will be inforced by the goons, the communist, seems to forever escape the jealous. Socialism is the economics of envy enforced by the politics of repression, over and over again.

  5. Jake says:

    France, like many European countries, do not have a two party system. Macron won the recent election for president as the ‘centrist’ candidate, since those on the left opposed Le Pen even more than they detest Macron. Interestingly though, the Melanchon-left is a different animal from the previous Parti Socialiste which used to be a strong contender, but drifted in the direction of ‘Tony Blair Socialism’, and got hammered because of it.

    Leaving French internal politics to the French, the consequences for Europe and NATO (Washington and London), are evidently cause for alarm, since Le Pen and Melanchon are far more likely to appreciate what Putin has to say about the true causes of war in Ukraine, and the dire economic consequences for Europe. A rift between Paris and Brussels (both EU and NATO headquarters) is the likely result. Lithuania and Brussels looking for a chance to upgrade the proxy-war to commitment appears to be timed to neutralize French attempts to stop that senseless war. Macron can’t lean ‘left’ or ‘right’ on that topic.

    Just my two cents worth, as a European.

  6. Fred says:

    “But the right’s recent political ascendancy follows many years in which conservatives have successfully waged a cultural battle …. adopting … codes and strategies to attract a more youthful audience.”

    The left is shocked that young French citizens want a future in their own country? I read an English language version of France 24 right before the 1st round of legislative elections. The authors of that piece spent a great deal of time talking about Macron and Melenchon, but not a single mention of Le Pen, even though she was the second round presidential candidate and not Melenchon. What a tale of the media narrative there. Just like St. Joe and his campaign’s media allies.

  7. Degringolade says:

    Per your observation:

    depths of the Gallic soul and will not much affect the rest of Europe.

    I got two bucks and a ticket to the rodeo that says it will have a major effect on the rest of Europe.

  8. Notfakebot says:

    I think it’s also a realization. A lot has changed about France since the days of Chirac, when Marine’s father headed her party. The French are not blind to the reality of that change. The recent Champions League final chaos I think was an awakening for many.

    • morongobill says:

      The burning of Notre Dame and other Christian churches wasn’t awakening enough evidently.

  9. ked says:

    Macron may be on his way to the dustbin, but I don’t think the Center / Left is going away. Turnout was low… democracies everywhere are suffering from politician fatigue… wears out an already shrinking & exhausted Center. Persistent partisans, ideologues (theocrats in the USA) get a shot… an awakened opposition reacts (or not). In Columbia, they even elect a left-wing guerrilla prez. In Russia, Putin invades a neighboring country animated by a nationalist orthodoxy. {that’s all Boris needs – religion!}

  10. d74 says:

    “I suspect that this is a peculiarly French developments, brought forth from the depths of the Gallic soul and will not much affect the rest of Europe.”

    You are right, Colonel.
    The Gauls follow their own path. I don’t know where it will lead us.
    One could say that at present the Gallic soul is lost in the mists of uncertainty. To add to the confusion, Europe is dead as an ideal or as a goal worth pursuing. The cause and at the same time the consequence is that our political leaders are at best office managers only concerned with their self perpetuation, a familiar tune. I would like to be wrong but with 53,77% of abstention, the hope is low. The anglers party is the majority.

    Don’t worry, it seems we are as peaceful as lambs led to the slaughter.

  11. Babeltuap says:

    It won’t matter. The extreme far left has the hand. She gained some to stop his majority but the far left is going to plow over everything. They want stuff without doing anything for it. Absolutely a mental illness going on right now globally where people want stuff but there are not enough resources for the stuff but the government does not have the heart to tell them. We will find out together how this plays out but it will not be good.

    • Dolores O´Neil says:

      The elites planned allowing the left and the far-right naviagte the worst of outcomes of the “pandemic” the worst of the historic stagflation plus probably WWIII…

      After all this, they will never return to government in decades…..

      On the other hand, it is quite possibly the EU does not survive its own contradictions and surging cracks, a development which will be favorable to the US/UK combo, which will then be able to blackmail isolated countries, with those placed the most at the Atlantic corner taking the worst part, as the current energy, and of all fields, crisis between Spain and Algheria advances…

      In lack of the possibility of plundering Russia again, it won´t be a bad outcome anyway for the AngloSaxon Empire……Returning to the origins….

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