• France's news in English

EU Elections: France reacts to Le Pen victory

Ben McPartland · 26 May 2014, 12:16

Published: 26 May 2014 12:16 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Main points:

  • France's National Front tops the poll with 24.6 percent of vote, meaning 24 seats
  • The conservative UMP came in second with 20 percent of the vote and 19 seats
  • President François Hollande's Socialist Party way back in third with 13.97 and 13 seats.
  • Hollande held an emergency meeting on Monday with top ministers

15:48: Here are the names of the 24 freshly elected National Front EU Parliament deputies:

East France

1) Florian Phillippot: The 33-year-old graduate of France's presitigious ENA civil service school is the National Front vice president.

2) Sophie Montel

3) Jean Francois Jalkh: He the National Front's vice president of elections.

4) Dominique Bilde


5) Jean-Marie Le Pen: The 86-year-old founder of the National Front.

6) Marie-Christine Arnautu: The 61-year-old Parisian is the party’s vice president for social affairs.

7) Bruno Gollnisch: Former number two of the party and longtime member.

8) Mireille d'Ornano

9) Dominique Martin

North west

10) Marine Le Pen: National Front president

11) Steeve Briois: Mayor of Hénin-Beaumont and the party’s secretary general.

12) Mylène Troszczynski

13) Nicolas Bay: He is the party’s deputy general secretary and presides over the National Front group on the regional board of Haute Normandy.

14) Sylvie Goddyn


15) Gilles Lebreton

16) Gilles Penelle (Seat initially won by Joëlle Bergeron, but she resigned)

South west

17) Louis Aliot: He is National Front vice president and Marine Le Pen’s partner.

18) Joëlle Melin

19) Edouard Ferrant


Massif Central-Centre

20) Bernard Monot

21) Jeanne Pothain

Ile de France and France overseas

22) Aymeric Chauprade

23) Marie-Christine Boutonnet

24) Jean-Luc Schaffhauser 

15:10: What are the big questions that last night's National Front win poses for France, its politicians and for Europe? We take a look in the link below.

Four big questions for France after the EU elections

15:05: More analyses from Jean-Yves Camus, a specialist n the far-right. “It appears the FN vote is more a vote of support and not just a protest vote. The argument that the FN has no concrete propositions towards Europe, was ignored,” Camus told L’Express.

15:00: More questions being asked about was this the big breakthrough for the National Front? And where does the party fo from here? 

“There’s been ups and downs in the score of the National Front in elections over recent years, but this time things are different because of the political situation in France, with a deeply unpopular Socialist government in charge,” French and European Politics professor Philippe Marliere tells The Local.

“This raises the possibility that in the next presidential election in 2017 we could see a repeat of 2002. I am not saying there is enough support for Marine Le Pen to win that election, but all the conditions are there for her to be in the run-off.

13:40: The question now is can Marine Le Pen cobble together enough support among fellow eurosceptic MEPs to create a voting bloc in parliament? UKIP's Nigel Farage has already said no, but there are other ptions out there, who include Nazi sympathizers and outright anti-Muslim politicians. Le Pen needs 25 MEPs from seven different countries to form the bloc.

Find out more about who she could ally herself with in this link below.

Le Pen's unholy alliance hoping to destroy the Europe

12:56: Over half a million French voters posted blank ballots on Sunday. For the first time in an election in France blanck ballots were actually counted. Although the official figure has not been given, according to the Huffington Post there were 540,000 "vote blancs". Another 240,000 ballot papers were destroyed, the news site said.

12:50: Here's a telling map of France which compares the results back in 2009 to yesterday's results. The dark blue is the National Front.

12:28: The image of Marine Le Pen has also been plastered all over the front pages of newspapers across the world today. Here's two front pages from the Times and the Financial Times in the UK.

12:16 Meanwhile voters in Paris have been reacting to the results of the European Elections, with many telling The Local of their anger at the mainstream parties.

"This vote should not be seen as representative of how French people think about immigrants. People are angry, they voted for the FN, but it’s not representative,” one voter told The Local.“For most people this was like an opinion poll.”

To find out more about what French voters in Paris were thinking on Monday morning, click on the link below.

"We're not racist, just angry', say French voters

12:03: RESULTS LATEST: With 80 percent of ballots counted following Sunday's vote, the Interior Ministry announced that the anti-immigration, anti-EU party led by Marine Le Pen had secured 26 percent of the vote, guaranteeing them around a third of France's 74 seats in the European Parliament.

12:01: The French village of Brachay is being held up as a symbol of the “forgotten France” that Marine Le Pen has been appealing to. The village, located in the Haute Marne department of north eastern France, has been visited a couple of times by Le Pen and voted massively in favour of the far-right.

Out of the towns 60 inhabitants, 22 voted, and 84.6 percent of those went to the National Front. The two mainstream parties, the UMP and the Socialist Party, didn’t receive one vote.

11:45: The emergency meeting at the Elysée Palace is over. Would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in that room. We can expect some more reaction from France's ruling Socialists. It will be probbly go along the lines of "we have heard the voters"..."We need to learn our lessons"..."we have no chance of a second term for Hollande". Well apart from that last one.

11:31: Obviously the European powers are reacting to the result in France last night. Here's what a German minister had to say about the far-right's victory, from AFP.

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday labelled the victory of the far-right National Front in France as a "severe signal" and voiced concern about the rise of eurosceptic parties in European parliamentary elections.

"There is no doubt that many populist, eurosceptic and even nationalistic parties are entering the European Parliament," he said, speaking on NTV television.

"In some countries it won't be as bad as had been feared, for example in the Netherlands, but France's National Front is a severe signal, and it horrifies me that the NPD from Germany will be represented in the parliament," he added, referring to the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party of Germany.

11:05: If you want to find out more about Marine Le Pen and how she managed to persuade 24 percent of French voters to pick her party, tthat was once labelled a haven for racists and anti-Semites, then click on the link below.

Marine Le Pen escapes the shadow of her father

11:02: Here's a good widget that will let you see the results from France in full.

10:59: There was also a big victory for a eurosceptic party in Britain, remember.

10:54: Plenty of reaction to Le Pen's victory on our Facebook page today.

This is from reader Brian Milne: "If the main stream politicians listened more to the electorate instead of bulldozing the present EU project that is almost universally unpopular. What do they expect. The EU needs serious reform and without it this trend will continue. A return to the free trade union is what most people want and not a political union that stifles national identity."

10:39: As this tweet from Le Figaro newspaper points out, this is not the first time France has rejected the left. This is their front page from 1984, the day after the European Elections. It simply reads "France rejects the left".

10:30: Here's a selection of the front pages of France's main newspapers on Monday, which feature one woman and one woman only.

And this is front page of Le Parisien. Again a picture of Marine Le Pen with the words "Le Big Bang". The National Front topping the vote will bring about some deep changes to French political life," says the paper.

This is right wing daily Le Figaro's front page. The headline simply reads "Earthquake" in reference to the National Front's historic victory.

This is left wing daily Liberation's front cover: "France FN" reads the headline.

10:25: Austerity is the word of the day, across Europe. The National Front’s vice President Florian Philippot is obviously enjoying his party’s moment in the limelight. He has taken a swipe at the French PM’s pledge to lower taxes today. “The powers will not cut taxes, they will raise them, because they are trapped by austerity. They are trapped in zero percent growth because they have refused to change the policy. As long as we will be subjected to the dogmas of Brussels, France will be subject to the policy of austerity.”

10:15: "The country’s image is tarnished, but how long will that last for. Only time will tell,” Yves Marie Cann, Director of opinion at polling agency CSA told Le Figaro newspaper. “The risk is the stigmatization of France abroad. Remember Austria 15 years ago. All of Europe, including France pointed the finger at the country for giving 26.9 percent of the vote to a far right party. Today we have been caught by the same phenomenon.

“Politicians have a role to play. The y must take into account the reality of the country. The France that they imagine, that they dream of, is not the France that the French are living in ,they are waiting for results.”

09:30: Reaction from France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls on French radio: "I am convinced that Europe could be re-oriented to increase support for growth and employment, which it hasn't done in years." He has ruled out stepping down in the wake of the vote or of changing his government's five-year policy "roadmap."

"We need time and I demand this time," he said. "We must not let down our guard, to refuse our responsibilities, to make place for the extreme right."

"We are not going to add to the identity crisis, the moral crisis that France is going through," he said, adding that this would lead to a country becoming "ungovernable."

 "Our only mission is to continue our work to repair the country. If we don't do this, we would not live up to our responsibilities," he said.

Valls also said he was dismayed by what he called the latest "massive abstention" by Socialist voters in the polls.

09:22: The question of turn-out is always a hot issue in the European Elections. Here's an interesting tweet to compare yesterday's participation with that of other elections.

09:17: The president of the conservative UMP party Jean-François Copé has be en talking about Sunday's results. "The French are very angry," he says. "Everyone I meet tells me they can't take anymore rises in taxes, stigmatisation of employers and the fact the state cannot manage a policy of security." It's fair to say it wasn't a great night for Copé's own party, which was overtaken by the National Front as the party of opposition.

09:10: Here's a lay out of the new European Parliament.

Story continues below…

09:05: Emergency meeting of top ministers has begun, we understand. PM Valls has also ruled out resigning after Le Pen called for his head yesterday.

09:00: The National Front have proved that March's local elections scores, in which they made historic gains, picking up 11 mayorships, were not just a one off. In the town of Henin-Beaumont the FN scored 50 percent of the vote in the local elections. On Sunday the party surpassed that score, picking up 53 percent of the popular vote.

08:55: "The National Front puts forward policies that are unsupportable, dangerous and impossible to defend..." says French centrist François Bayrou. "It's a protest movement, not a movement of construction for the future."

08:45: More reaction to the National Front's victory from the head of the Socialist Party in the Ile-de-France region Julian Dray. "What happened is extremely serious. The leading party is extreme right and the Socialist Party suffered an historic knock-out."

08:37: The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is the first to put his head above the parapet. Valls called for Europe to boost support for growth and employment policies after eurosceptic far-right parties triumphed in EU parliament elections.

"I am convinced that Europe could be re-oriented to increase support for growth and employment, which it hasn't done in years," Manuel Valls told French radio.

Valls also promised more income tax cuts for workers. In the run up to the elections he announced that 1.8 million French tax payers would be spared the burden of income tax. Valls said on Monday that more cuts are needed. Polls show that much of the National Front's support on Sunday came from blue collar workers, who are normally the base of Socialist Party support.

08:35: Emergency meeting: President François Hollande was said to be holding an emergency meeting this morning with his top ministers to discuss another election debacle. Surely he won't sack another Prime Minister, like he did after the local elections defeat.

08:30: Welcome to our LIVE blog the day after the European Elections. Stay with us throughout the morning and we'll bring you all the reaction to a night that saw The National Front top a nationwide poll for the first time in history.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available