France’s Socialist Party has formally allied with the Conservatives to try and prevent the Front National’s (FN) Marine and Marion le Pen from personally winning during the second round of regional elections to be held in France on Sunday, December 13.
The alliance between the two parties definitively proves Marine le Pen’s longstanding accusation that the parties are actually just one and the same, and only pretend to oppose each other.
“It seems as if the Socialists and Conservatives only actually have one real policy, and that is to oppose the Front National,” she once said.
The Socialist Party has officially withdrawn its candidates in both the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, where Marine le Pen is the candidate for governor, and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, where her niece Marion is the candidate.
The Socialist Party candidates finished third in the first round of both those races last weekend. They have both officially urged their supporters to vote for Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans. In theory, if all the Socialist voters follow this order, and the conservative vote holds, this will be enough to deny both Le Pens victory.
The third region which was marked as most likely to fall to the FN is Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, where the Front National’s deputy leader Florian Philippot is the candidate.
The Socialist Party was supposed to stand down there as well, but due to an internal party split, has refused, making that region into a three-way contest, which will favor the FN. This region might yet then produce the first FN regional government.
In alliance with the establishment parties, the controlled media in France has pulled out all the stops in an attempt to prevent the Le Pens from winning. New “opinion polls” produced hastily this week claimed to show a reduction in support for the FN since the first round, and most have routinely predicted that the Le Pens will lose.
However, Marine Le Pen has not given up yet. If anything, the socialist-conservative alliance was completely expected (as they have done it before) and, as she said at a national rally of regional list candidates held in Paris’s Salle Wagram theater on Thursday, November 11, nothing can distract from the fact that her party is now the “first party of France,” and has polled the highest number of individual votes of any other party in that country.
Describing the socialist-conservative alliance as a “political mafia,” she told over a thousand FN supporters that the party’s “glass ceiling has now been broken. We polled six million votes in the elections, led in six regions, and tied in a seventh. This has never happened before.”
The first round election result was, she said, like the collapse of the Soviet bloc. The old world is in the process of disappearing, right in front of our eyes.”
She also denounced the media campaign against her party, which was, she said, being “orchestrated from the Palace of the Republic”—a reference to the Socialist president’s intervention in the election against the FN, and the “manipulated” opinion polls which were being produced to try and persuade people how to vote.
“There remains a second round, and nothing is guaranteed. Voters must go beyond the right-left split and vote for the Front,” she said, pointing out that if the turnout was higher in the second round than the first, then victory would be even more possible.
Finally, it is by no means guaranteed that all the conservative voters will stick with their candidates after being endorsed by the socialists, and one of the “opinion polls” reported that 9 percent of socialists would switch to the FN.
The results are, therefore, not set in stone, although they are heavily weighted against the FN.