The France , the country of Human Rights guided by "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" has surprised everybody with the results of regional elections with the victory of the French far-right, Front National (FN) of Marine Le Pen last Sunday. FN has capitalized on Paris attacks to win 27-30% of national vote, the highest the party has ever scored in a local election, nearly one out of three voted them. The Sunday's result is not an error. The votes for Le Pen and FN are not due to a sudden fit of rage against the political elites, or simply the consequence of the terrorist attacks of November 13th, the FN is growing up for years in the polls, consistently, the inevitable occurrence .
The far-right FN has made a significant step forward in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, coincided with the resurgence of an anti-immigration, anti-Muslim populism in France, winning the first round of regional elections and coming top in half of France’s regions. One can hardly interpret the victory of the FN in the first round of regional as an isolated case. This far right party has progressed smoothly inside the French population. The National Front party is a socially conservative, and nationalist, right to far-right political party in France. Its major policies include economic protectionism, a zero tolerance approach to law and order issues, and anti-immigration. A eurosceptic party, the FN has opposed the European Union since its creation in 1993. The spectacular showing is the highest ever performance for the anti-immigration, anti-European party and, if it maintains the strong lead in next week’s second round, it could reshape France’s political landscape.
FN, which pushed a severe position on Islam, security and national identity, was the only political party to make solid gains in the wake of the Paris attacks three weeks ago in which gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 persons in Paris. The far-right party headed the poll nationwide with around 28 % of the vote, compared to only 11% in the last regional elections in 2010, and also came top in six out of 13 French regions – a historic moment for the FN which has never before taken the leadership of a French region. The two important regions the North and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur are those where the FN did the most important score. Across the country, the FN is ahead of Les Républicains of the former president Nicolas Sarkozy with about 29 % of the vote, Les Républicains followed with 26,65% of the vote, and on the third position is the ruling centre-left with 23.6 % of the national vote. A very bad signal for the French Republic and a vote of rejection of the ruling party of the Président François Hollande.
What this means for France is a warning signal?How the France’s political landscape will be reshaped after the 13th December 2015 ? Is this a vote against the political elites? What impact will have this results to the French society and French politics? The fault lies with the established parties of center left and right. They had too little courage to tackle the major problems of the Republic. They have lost the link with the society and they are not anymore responding to the problems of a France in anger. The reason of this anger in the French society is not only because of the migration, the refugee problem or the terrorism problem, they are important but again, one can’t explain the high score of the FN in the best region of France. Today in France, the people are totally estranged from the traditional parties of the left and right, their leadership. We are facing in France a crises of representation, people do not feel represented anymore. This is the gap that is being filled by the FN, with a Marine Le Pen close to the people and mostly close to the young generation.
The traditional left, center and right parties may have to join forces to stop the increasing of FN. The Socialist Party (PS) of the president Hollande decided on Sunday to withdraw its candidates from the second round of voting in regions where they had finished third in the first round. It also called on voters to back conservative candidates of the former president Nicolas Sarkozy, in a week’s time in order to prevent the victory of FN. But Nicolas Sarkozy didn’t appreciate this tactic of PS to gather forces on a “Republican Front” against FN. There is still hope that FN will not progress on the 2nd round? Maybe, if the Socialist voters decide to back the center-right candidates the FN could still be defeated.
This elections are a test for 2017 Presidential election, and the progressive rising of Marine Le Pen is a headache for the candidates of right and left wing.
There is one more week to have the final results of this earthquake of French elections, and to give answer to our questions about the ideological course of the “Nation of Human Rights”! But, absolutely, this first round is a warning signal not only to France but to the rest of Europe.