Le Pen stays ahead as French Conservatism dies
French National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen is set to win the first round of the French presidential election on April 23rd, as polls confirm the death of French conservatism. While Mme Le Pen is likely to lose the decisive second round to ‘centrist’ candidate and former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron, time is on her side: French voters’ resistance to globalisation spells long term victory for the FN.
Today’s Observer reports from ‘forgotten France’, the Yonne area south of Paris, typical of the areas where the FN is registering strong support among young voters. Nor is this restricted to the ‘underclass’: there are now growing FN branches inside elite universities.
The latest polls suggest that the candidate of neo-Thatcherite conservatism – former Prime Minister François Fillon – might slip to fourth place, defeated not only by Le Pen and Macron but by extreme-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has been the dark horse of the campaign in the past fortnight. In fact if the extreme-left had been able to unite behind a single candidate, the second round would probably have seen Le Pen v Mélenchon rather than Le Pen v Macron.
Just over half of French voters remain wedded to their national traditions, against the chill winds of deracinated globalism. But this majority is itself evenly split between those who have opted for Le Pen’s FN and those who remain with some variety of 20th century leftism.
The traditionalist majority is opposed by a globalist minority – but most do not wish to face the full brutal logic of globalism, represented by Fillon’s policies of Thatcher-style cuts and deregulation, which would make France more like the UK or even the USA. It doesn’t help their cause when Fillon himself – while preaching austerity and state cutbacks for other Frenchmen – is found to have been profiting outrageously (and perhaps illegally) from lavish state payments to his wife for non-jobs!