France’s Front National is set for its biggest electoral breakthrough yet and stands to take the premierships of at least two large provinces in France early in December, according to a new Ipsos opinion poll.
The surge in support for the anti-invasion, and anti-European Union (EU) party is the result of a carefully planned years-long program by party leader Marine le Pen to reshape the party, and the inevitable European backlash against the Angela Merkel-generated mass nonwhite invasion by refugee-terrorists.
The two leading contests will take place in the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur regions, being contested by Marine le Pen and her young niece, Marion Maréchal Le Pen, respectively.
While an FN victory in Nord-Pas-de-Calais has been predicted by polls since September—with the elder Le Pen holding a commanding lead over her rivals—the Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur has been on knife-edge, with some polls giving a slight lead to the Nikolas Sarkozy created “conservative” alliance.
However, following the refugee-terrorist outrages in Paris, support for the FN everywhere in France has rocketed, and the opinion poll conducted just after the November 13 Paris attacks has put the younger Le Pen well in the lead to win the presidency of Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur as well.
According to the poll, conducted from November 19 to 21, Miss Le Pen, granddaughter of party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and also the youngest sitting member of the French parliament, will get at least 40 percent of the ballot in a first round of the vote.
Second place, says the poll, will go to the Republicans, with 30 percent, and third place to the Socialists with 16 percent.
All of the other candidates, seven in total, will together poll 14 percent, with six of them polling between 0.5 and 2 percent, and one polling 8 percent.
All elections at this level in France go to a second round of voting if no one candidate gets more than 50 percent in the first round. The second round of voting only takes place between candidates who won more than 10 percent of the vote in the first round. This second round is won by whoever polls the most votes, irrespective of whether they make the 50 percent mark.
According to the Ipsos poll, a second round would give Miss Le Pen 41 percent of the vote, with the conservative total increasing to 34 percent, and the socialists increasing to 25 percent.
Thus the only way that she could be potentially defeated would be if either the socialist or the conservative candidate withdrew and urged his voters to vote for the single remaining opponent.
While such a conservative-socialist alliance is more than theoretically possible, it is by no means guaranteed. Furthermore, given the current political climate, many conservatives are likely to switch to the FN than to the socialists. Thus even joining together will not guarantee the establishment parties of victory against the FN.
The FN won 11 municipalities in elections last year, and topped the poll in the 2014 European elections, wining 4.7 million votes to the conservatives’ 3.9 million, and the socialists 2.6 million. It recently also took two seats in the French senate, elected by a complicated electoral college vote.
“We’re advancing step by step; we’re building credibility… this is reassuring French citizens and breaks the ‘fear argument’ that people use against us,” Miss Le Pen recently told Reuters.
“We know that in this election the National Front plays double-or-quits,” she said. “Any FN region will be scrutinized, monitored.”
For the FN to win a provincial premiership will give the party a real boost after attempts to run towns in the 1990s ran into legal trouble when some of the towns passed laws favoring French citizens over foreigners for social housing benefits.
As Miss Le Pen told Reuters: “We will absolutely respect the law until we are in government at the national level and can change it.”