• France's news in English
 

French far-right as popular as major parties

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.

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
Hollande urges EU meet after migrant tragedy
File photo: AFP

Hollande urges EU meet after migrant tragedy

French President Francois Hollande called Sunday for a meeting of EU ministers after the feared drowning of some 700 migrants on Sunday. READ  

Market shrivels for France's famed prunes
Photo: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP

Market shrivels for France's famed prunes

France's famous Agen prunes have seen their market share shrivel in recent years, but local farmers have ploughed money into modern methods in a bid to save their plums. READ  

Michelin-starred chef is organic 'fanatic'
Paoli Sari. Photo: Valery Hache

Michelin-starred chef is organic 'fanatic'

France has many restaurants claiming the "bio" label, but only one to earn a star in the fabled Michelin Guide. READ  

France arms Lebanon for Isis fight
Photo: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP

France arms Lebanon for Isis fight

The first French weapons will arrive in Lebanon on Monday as allies seek to bolster the country's defences against jihadists. READ  

PSG ease Barca pain with Nice win
Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

PSG ease Barca pain with Nice win

Paris Saint-Germain bounced back from their Champions League humbling against Barcelona by beating Nice 3-1 on Saturday to boost their bid for a hat-trick of Ligue 1 titles. READ  

Surfers shun Réunion after shark attacks
Photo: Richard Bouhet/AFP

Surfers shun Réunion after shark attacks

Reunion, once a haven for surfers from around the world, has become a deadly black spot for the sport after a slew of shark attacks. READ  

French ship 'Hermoine' sails again
Photo: Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP

French ship 'Hermoine' sails again

A replica of the French navy frigate Hermione which brought General Lafayette to America to rally rebels fighting Britain in the US war of independence, will set sail for the United States again on Saturday, 235 years after the original crossing. READ  

Teens suspected of French website attacks
File photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

Teens suspected of French website attacks

READ  

Tête-a-tête - Tu versus vous
Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?
"Did you just say tu to me?" Photo: Shutterstock

Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?

Everyone who has ever lived in France knows all about the social minefield that is tu and vous - and that goes for the French too. The Local France’s editor Ben McPartland and French language expert Camille Chevalier-Karfis argue over whether it’s time to ditch the protocol. READ  

Racism in France
France unveils plan to fight 'intolerable' racism
The French government will reveal on Friday how it plans to tackle racism in France.Photo: AFP

France unveils plan to fight 'intolerable' racism

UPDATED: France’s top ministers, lead by the PM Manuel Valls, unveiled on Friday the country's new plan to tackle rising racism and anti-Semitism in the country. Incidents of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have rocketed since January’s terror attacks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Sexual harassment rife on Paris trains
National
Marine Le Pen makes Time 'most influential' list
International
Torching animals to threesomes: French tourists behave badly abroad
Cannes Film Festival line-up revealed
National
Cartoonist's book slams 'Islamophobia swindlers'
National
More French women than men lured by Isis
Society
Les Entrepreneurs: We chat with the founder of Paris Picnic
National
Edith Piaf celebrated at Parisian exhibit
How the health reforms will change life in France
Gallery
Naked protests: The French love to take their clothes off to make a point
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Then and now - the site of the Alps plane crash
Travel
So why would anyone really want to live in Lille?
Opinion
Why the French should be very worried about new spying powers
National
Spain's newest export to France: Vultures
Did a row over stolen veg lead to the murder of a British expat in France?
VIDEO: French rail chiefs SNCF furious after the Paris-Roubaix race
National
What does Zlatan think of his suspension?
Sport
What the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris would look like
Culture
IN PICS: Take a look inside France's new 36,000 year-old tourist site
International
Did the Pope reject France's envoy to the Vatican because he was gay?
Cyberjihad: Hacking of French TV channel was 'a step up'
Politics
PROFILE: Jean-Marie Le Pen - France's far-right master provocateur
National
France's fatigued 'anti-terror' police resort to calling sick
National
Dipping baguette in a bowl of coffee! - French habits foreigners don't get
Strike latest: Scores of flights cancelled in France
Features
New Calais migrant camp 'the worst in Europe'
Society
ASK THE EXPERTS: So why are the French always on strike?
National
French air traffic control strike: Tourists face travel chaos
Culture
Which stars will land an invite to the Cannes Film Festival?
Technology
Paris holds film festival for blind cinema goers
National
Paris wants to triple its number of cyclists by 2020
National
Readers tell us of the joys of living in France's 'expat no-go zones'
Cannes Film Festival says no to red carpet selfies for 2015
Health
France to ban unlimited refills of soft drinks
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
The enclosed terraces of Paris cafés - where the smoking ban is ignored.
France's 'winter truce' has been called off, but what exactly is it?
National
What's on in France: Ten things to do in April
National
Paris bistros crack down on loud tourists. Surely it's an April Fools
National
The key reforms of France's healthcare bill
National
Here's the place to get the best baguettes in Paris
More French pensioners head abroad to settle
Is it possible to make the most of fine food in Paris on a student budget?
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