• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French far-right as popular as major parties

Dan MacGuill · 5 Jun 2013, 12:43

Published: 05 Jun 2013 12:43 GMT+02:00

The survey revealed that the far-right National Front, the governing Socialist party, and the main centre-right opposition UMP were neck-and-neck on exactly 21 percent each of public support.

Public opinion firm Ifop, along with right-leaning weekly magazine Valeurs Actuelles asked respondents to choose from a series of party lists, with specific named leaders, “if the European elections were to take place next Sunday.”

Some 21 percent chose the Socialist Party, led by Party President Harlem Désir, the same percentage of support given to both the UMP, led by Jean-François Copé and the National Front, led by Marine Le Pen.

Just nine percent chose the ‘Front de gauche’ (Leftist Front), led by 2012 presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

EELV (Europe Ecology – the Greens), led by current French housing minister Cécile Duflot, got 7.5 percent support, and the centrist Modem (Democratic Movement), led by repeat presidential candidate François Bayrou, got seven percent support.

The UDI (Union of Democrats and Independents), a splinter party formed during the UMP’s fraught leadership battle last autumn, and led by Jean-Louis Borloo, polled at 6.5 percent.

The Gaullist, eurosceptic DLR (Arise the Republic) party, led by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, got three percent.

The NPA (New Anticapitalist Party), led by former postman and 2007 presidential candidate Olivier Besancenot got two percent support.

Uncomfortable reading for mainstream parties

Wednesday’s poll will make worrying reading for both Socialist French President François Hollande, and main opposition leader Jean-François Copé.

Hollande has suffered record unpopularity among French voters, amid historic levels of unemployment and a tax evasion scandal which forced former budget minister and key ally Jérome Cahuzac to resign in April.

For his part, Copé had to endure a poisonous battle with former Prime Minister François Fillon in order to become UMP leader last autumn.

In May, The Local reported that former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has somewhat overshadowed Copé’s leadership with repeated hints at a return to politics, topped a poll of French voters asked to choose their preferred president in 2017.

National Front leader Le Pen came in second, and Hollande a distant third.

At the time, Socialist spokesman David Essouline condemned the far-right rhetoric of Le Pen.

"Behind lofty, misleading comments against bankers, she only becomes concrete when it's about attacking unions and immigrants," he said in a statement.

Story continues below…

Along with elections to the European Parliament, 2014 will bring local, municipal elections to France.

In February, The Local reported how the National Front has opened up a ‘candidate’s college’ called “Campus Bleu Marine,” in an effort to boost the party’s representation in local authorities throughout France.

Le Pen garnered 18 percent of the vote in last May’s presidential election, just failing to replicate the performance of her father, and party founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen on the same stage.

In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen sent shockwaves throughout the political world by outpolling Socialist candidate and incumbent French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in the first round of the presidential elections.

Incumbent centre-right President Jacques Chirac went on to get 82 percent of votes in the run-off election. 

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
Photo: AFP

The Brexit vote has prompted a mixed bag of reactions from the French public.

Opinion - Brexit seen from abroad
'Today it's hard not to feel ashamed to be British'
Photo: AFP

Apologies France, we may have just messed up your country too.

Brexit
French in UK: 'Brexit vote is clearly against foreigners'
The French Bookshop in London's Kensington. Photo: AFP

Spare a thought for the French people living in the UK right now. They didn't even get to vote.

Hollande: Brexit vote 'a grave test for Europe'
Photo: AFP

President Francois Hollande said on Friday that he already regrets the UK's "painful choice".

Brexit - Property
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
A house of sale in La-Faute-sur-Mer (Vendée). Photo: Frank Perry/AFP

The dream move to France may have to be put on hold or simply dropped.

Brexit
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Brits won't be forced home, of course, but are forced to live in limbo for a while. Photo: AFP

So what happens now for Brits in France? Nothing too dramatic, but a lot of uncertainty amid legal limbo.

Brexpats on Brexit
Brexit: Life for Brits in France will get more complicated
Will France still be paradise for British expats after a Brexit? Photo: Simon/FlickR

After Britain voted to leave the EU, here's a look at what an EU legal expert had to say about the possible knock on effects for expats in France.

France up next? Le Pen hails Brexit and demands vote

Friday's historic Brexit vote has sent tremors across the English Channel, where the political class had mixed reactions to the news that the UK had voted to leave the EU.

Worried after Brexit? Here's how to become French
Could it be time to become a French citizen? Photo: AFP

After the UK voted for Brexit, many Brits in France will no doubt explore the possibility of becoming a French citizen. Here's some guidance.

Brits in France left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Photo: AFP

After the UK voted to leave the EU and the pound was sent crashing, British nationals living in France have been left stunned and concerned about the future.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
National
IN PICTURES: Labour law protests in Paris turn ugly
National
Double murder just latest jihadist attack on French police and soldiers
International
French police appear unprepared for hooligan threat at Euro 2016
Sport
An A to Z guide of what to expect in France for Euro 2016
Sport
France bans matches from being shown on cafe terraces
National
Readers' views: 'If Brexit happens I'm becoming French just to stay in EU'
Technology
Should this be the new Metro map for Paris?
2,734
jobs available