The Far Right’s Revival in France

One of the things that was taken out of the 2007 French presidential election was the collapse of the far right (the Front national or FN), the same far right which five years earlier had shocked the world and France by placing second in the presidential race with 16.9 percent of the vote. Its poor 10.4 percent showing in 2007 was followed by a drubbing in subsequent legislative elections and an equally weak showing in the 2009 European elections.

It has rightfully been said that Nicolas Sarkozy took a lot of the far-right vote in 2007 with his tough law and order platform and populist rhetoric. It helped him with working-class voters, many of whom had supported the FN in 2002 despite their left-wing roots.

Following the party’s collapse, which put it on the verge of bankruptcy and forced it to sell off its headquarters in an affluent Parisian suburb, the far right was buried. Sarkozy and the traditional right had permanently integrated most of the FN’s electorate, and it would collapse following the inevitable retirement of its historical lider maximo, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

It turns out that the far right was buried far too early and the party that passed for dead or at least moribund four years ago is roaring back with a vengeance. Read more “The Far Right’s Revival in France”