• France edition
 
French far-right as popular as major parties
Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, at a May Day rally in Paris. Her party matched the two mainstream French parties in polls on June 5th. Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP

French far-right as popular as major parties

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

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sarkozy’s big return: Carla Bruni 'says non!'
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy does not want her husband to return to politics, according to reports. Photo: AFP

Sarkozy’s big return: Carla Bruni 'says non!'

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy faces a few obstacles before he can fulfill his dream of becoming head of state once again - not least his numerous legal tangles. But it appears the biggest hurdle of all could be his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. READ  

Votes for expats: Plan to end UK's 15-year rule
Brits may soon get the right vote in the UK for the rest of their lives. Photo: Hagwall/Flickr

Votes for expats: Plan to end UK's 15-year rule

The Conservative party in the UK has made a bid to woo expat voters by pledging to end the controversial “15-year rule” that prevents millions of Brits abroad from being able to vote. READ  

Most French admit they 'don't know about wine'
Most French people know nothing about wine, a new survey has revealed. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Most French admit they 'don't know about wine'

It may be the country’s most famous product but more than two thirds of French people admit they know nothing about wine, according to a new poll. READ  

France bans Muslim worker from nuclear sites
Tricastin nuclear plant in France, one of the many sites a Muslim engineer has been barred from over his jihadist links. Photo: Shutterstock

France bans Muslim worker from nuclear sites

A Muslim engineer has been barred from entering France's nuclear sites due to his links with jihadist networks, after a court upheld the ban this week. His lawyer claims the man is a victim of Islamophobia. READ  

Top Gear to launch new French version of show
Hit British car series 'Top Gear' is coming to France. Photo: Ana Poenariu/AFP

Top Gear to launch new French version of show

France is going to get its own version of legendary British auto series Top Gear with the show set to hit the TV screens by next year. READ  

Ukraine crisis
Mistral deal: Pressure on France as tensions rise
France may be forced to take another another look at its warship deal with Russia. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP

Mistral deal: Pressure on France as tensions rise

Increased tension in the Ukraine has only served to heighten the pressure on France, which so far has stubbornly refused to pull-out of its €1.2 billion deal to sell two Mistral warships to Russia. But will Paris be forced to re-consider? READ  

Paris building blast: Eighth body found
Firefighters pull a body from the rubble after an explosion brought down an apartment block near Paris on Sunday. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

Paris building blast: Eighth body found

French rescue workers pulled an eighth body out of the rubble of a four-storey building near Paris on Monday. The apartment block collapsed on Sunday after an explosion. Rescuers don't believe anyone else is still missing. READ  

Opinion - School reform
'New five-day week is vital for French pupils'
French primary school pupils will attend school five days a week from now on, despite opposition from parents. Photo: Shutterstock

'New five-day week is vital for French pupils'

The head of a major parents' group in France tells The Local why the new five-day school week will bring French schools into the 21st century. READ  

Ligue 1
Blow for French league as Falcao departs
Radamel Falcao has left French Ligue 1 side to join Manchester United. Photo: AFP

Blow for French league as Falcao departs

The French league was dealt a blow on Monday when one of its star names, Monaco's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, left to join Manchester United. The move shows clubs in France's Ligue 1, with the exception of PSG, cannot compete with Europe's big teams. READ  

Photo of French pupils draws 'racist' backlash
An Education Ministry photo has prompted an online controversy in France, because only one kid is white. Photo: Sophie Brändström/Education Ministry

Photo of French pupils draws 'racist' backlash

The French government has firmly rebuked scores of 'racist' comments left on an education ministry Facebook post which shows a back-to-school scene with mostly non-white children. The image has elicited a furious online debate. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Ten dos and don'ts for keeping your French in-laws happy
National
Unemployment: How does France compare to Europe?
International
Are all the talented professionals really leaving France?
National
La France profonde: Is it a rural idyll or a backwater hell?
Travel
Check out the four new attractions coming to Paris this autumn
Gallery
The French words you can't translate literally
National
Ten things you need to know about France's economics whizzkid
International
VIDEO: Watch the top five street scams to avoid in Paris
Politics
Take a look at the bulging to-do list that awaits France's new government
Politics
Six questions for France after Hollande ousts rebels
International
Choosing schools in France: Do you go international or French?
Gallery
From kissing to bad-mouthing: Ten ways expats in France drive you mad
Culture
Ten things you need to know about the Liberation of Paris:
Travel
Watch this impressive time lapse video and you'll want to move to Paris
National
Veiled Muslim woman on a French beach prompts politician's angry rant
Travel
Forget Paris and Provence where are the least touristy areas of France?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The battle to liberate Paris from the Nazis
National
What France means to you in just one tweet
National
15 French 'false friends' you need to watch out for
International
12 reasons to invest in Paris and seven not to
National
French hamlet 'Death to Jews' mulls name change
National
French tourist caught in Pompeii brothel romp
International
'Forget the Anglo-media's image of France, the reality is much different'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se