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Historic gains for France's far-right in local elections
FRANCE 24 ^ | 2014-03-23

Posted on 03/23/2014 4:02:52 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin

France’s far-right National Front party (FN) hailed an “exceptional” showing in the first round of the country’s local elections Sunday, after winning historic levels of support in a number of towns and cities.

Early estimates showed FN candidates leading in the eastern town of Forbach and the southern towns of Fréjus, Avignon, Perpignan, Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Beziers, putting the party in pole position for the second round of voting on March 30th.

The news was even better for the FN in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, where the party’s candidate Steeve Briois took a majority of the vote at 50.26 percent, making him the outright winner and mayor.

Under municipal election rules in France, any candidate who gets more than 50 percent is declared the winner and there is no need for a second round.

Nationwide, the FN scored seven percent of the vote, according to pollster BVA – a high national tally, given that it only fielded candidates in some 600 of France's total 36,000 municipalities.

FN leader Marine Le Pen said it had an been “exceptional” election for the party.

“The National Front has arrived as a major independent force – a political force both at the national and local level," Le Pen told TF1 television.

Hollande’s Socialists trailing

As expected, it was a tough night for François Hollande’s ruling Socialists, who together with other left-wing allies took a 43 percent share of the vote nationwide, according to BVA’s estimate.

The vote came as further confirmation of Hollande’s record-low popularity after failing to rein in unemployment in the euro zone's second largest economy.

Right-wing parties, including the main opposition UMP party but not the FN, secured 48 percent.

The Socialist government immediately responded to the surge of the far right FN.

"The position of the Socialist Party is very clear: we will do everything we can to stop an FN candidate from winning a municipality," party spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said on France 2 television.

Jean-Francois Copé, leader of the UMP party, meanwhile, called on those who had voted for the FN to "carry over their vote" onto UMP candidates in the second round.

Copé predicted a "big victory" for the UMP in the second round, in a sign that corruption scandals that have affected the conservative party, as well as former leader and president Nicolas Sarkozy, has had little impact.

Record low turnout

Just under a million people (nearly one in 60 of the population) stood as candidates in an election that will eventually produce over 36,000 new mayors for municipalities ranging from the tiniest of agricultural hamlets to big cities like Lyon, Marseille and Paris.

Turnout for this year’s vote looks to be heading for a record low, however.

Voter participation stood at 54.72 percent as of 5pm local time, according to France’s Interior Ministry, slightly down on 2008’s figure of 56.25 percent at the same stage.

Numerous polls have predicted a final participation rate of around 65 percent, less than the record low for a municipal election of 66.54 percent, set in 2008.

This did not appear to affect the FN, which hopes to claim the mayorship of 10 to 15 mid-sized towns after the second round.

That would represent a remarkable turnaround for a party that, at the time of the last municipals, was mired in financial crisis and internal bickering, and looked in danger of falling to the margins of French politics.

Past FN attempts at running local councils have often failed as a result of the eccentric personalities involved, but Le Pen has been eager to show that the party is capable of prudent governance.

The FN's power has steadily grown. Its proposals on immigration – curbing rights to family reunion and seeking a review of freedom of movement rules within the 28-nation European Union - have been endorsed by key figures in Sarkozy's UMP.

And its opposition to any further transfer of powers to European institutions is shared across the EU, not only by radical, populist parties growing strongly in several countries, but also by much of the mainstream.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: avignon; beziers; eurabia; europeanunion; forbach; france; frejus; heninbeaumont; nationalfront; perpignan; villeneuvesurlot

1 posted on 03/23/2014 4:02:52 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin
The French are interesting.

They're perfectly comfortable with accepting socialism as an economic system -- but they do not like its effect on their culture.

2 posted on 03/23/2014 4:04:39 PM PDT by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Potential to overturn the homosexual agenda soon?


3 posted on 03/23/2014 4:06:25 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The “Far Right” in France is Pro-Iran, they are not our friends.


4 posted on 03/23/2014 4:07:31 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Far right wing in France = Barack Obama


5 posted on 03/23/2014 4:09:47 PM PDT by Tzimisce
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To: BfloGuy
They're perfectly comfortable with accepting socialism as an economic system -- but they do not like its effect on their culture.

Americans don't like the effect socialism has, either. Neither socially nor economically.

Its just that we have much less a voice than the French in our corrupt political system.

6 posted on 03/23/2014 4:10:14 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: BfloGuy

In a fairly homogenous country with everyone having the same values, especially an ingrained work ethic, socialism in small doses could be ok.

In a multi-cultural society, it’s a recipe for disaster.


7 posted on 03/23/2014 4:11:53 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Cincinna

Ping.


8 posted on 03/23/2014 4:37:48 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

This is good news for Euro skeptic nationalists across Europe.


9 posted on 03/23/2014 4:43:59 PM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: BfloGuy
They're perfectly comfortable with accepting socialism as an economic system -- but they do not like its effect on their culture.

Basically they agree with Adolph Hitler's philosophy and they are the ideological children of the national socialists, but they'll complain when the trains show up.

10 posted on 03/23/2014 4:44:43 PM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Olog-hai; Cincinna; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ...

These are the off-year or mid-term or byelections of French politics. The National Front only fielded 600 candidates out of a possible 36,000 (it sez here) so naturally they ran in places where they knew they’d do well. They can’t win nationally, and have peaked under the elder Le Pen.

Hollande turned out to be not so bad, other than the egregious tax hike and the quasi-legal persecution of Sarkozy and other political enemies (sound familiar?). Like Frenchmen in general, he’s a lech, and is going through a sex scandal right now. His main downfall is his failure to do anything about the growth of militant Islam in France. Muzzie violence is getting more and more flagrant. It’s getting toward the time when the troops have to be brought out, we’ll see if he has some of de Gaulle in him.

Thanks DeaconBenjamin.


11 posted on 03/23/2014 5:12:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The National Front is a typical European rightist party—anti-Jewish, and pro-moslem. Just like Hungary’s Jobbik Party, which is rumored to receive funding from Iran.


12 posted on 03/23/2014 5:14:04 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Viennacon
Potential to overturn the homosexual agenda soon?

That's not what "far right" means in a European context.

13 posted on 03/23/2014 5:14:58 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

I think NF is opposed though, right?


14 posted on 03/23/2014 5:22:13 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Viennacon
I think NF is opposed though, right?

I think you are very wrong. And even if they were, they are still rabidly anti-Jewish.

The European Right isn't interested in the One True G-d. They're interested in the "ways of their ancestors," whether those ways be "chrstian" or pagan.

15 posted on 03/23/2014 5:34:23 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26707588

...Many people who voted for President Hollande two years ago chose to abstain, which has meant losses for the Socialists, our correspondent notes, and in many important towns they will struggle in the second round to hold off challenges from the main centre-right UMP opposition party.

Earlier, pollsters identified half a dozen towns that could see National Front rule as a result of the elections, giving it the chance to show it can be trusted with power after attempts to run four towns in the late 1990s revealed its lack of competence, Reuters news agency said.


16 posted on 03/23/2014 5:52:03 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_France

Since the 1980s, the government of France has alternated between two rather stable coalitions:

on the centre-left, one led by the Socialist Party and with minor partners such as Europe Ecology – The Greens, the Left Party, and the Radical Party of the Left.

on the centre-right, one led by the Union for a Popular Movement and previously its predecessors Rally for the Republic and the Union for French Democracy, with support from the New Centre.

It is difficult for parties outside these two major coalitions to make significant inroads, although the National Front has had sizable successes.


17 posted on 03/23/2014 5:53:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Is the FN the french Tea Party?


18 posted on 03/23/2014 6:25:17 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: dfwgator

SO they surrender to iran right

We are talking about the French :P:


19 posted on 03/23/2014 6:33:53 PM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: dfwgator
A fairly homogeneous country with an ingrained work ethic would have no need or use for socialism, even in your peculiar concept of "small doses."
20 posted on 03/23/2014 6:50:32 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: ExCTCitizen

No, they’re merely socialists who don’t like immigration.


21 posted on 03/23/2014 7:48:14 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Anti-immigration and pro-moslem? Interesting combination.


22 posted on 03/24/2014 7:32:55 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: dfwgator
The bottom line is that American-style laissez-faire capitalism isn't part of the political spectrum in Europe, at least not part of the spectrum associated with a viable voting block.

So the bottom line is that you're going to get some kind of statist. The choice is whether you get a socialist left-wing multiculturalist, or a "statist" nationalist who opposes having his country turned into a dumping ground for the Third World.

American conservatives opposing the latter on purist grounds because they are insufficiently libertarian on economic issues is ridiculous.

23 posted on 03/24/2014 10:32:27 AM PDT by ek_hornbeck
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To: dfwgator
in small doses

and theft is tolerable, and so on.

24 posted on 03/24/2014 10:38:10 AM PDT by cornelis
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To: cornelis; hinckley buzzard
During the Spanish Civil War, would you have opposed Francisco Franco (the only viable alternative to Spain turning Communist) because he wasn't a perfect advocate of laissez-faire economic principles?

Chances are, you'd recognize that while Franco wasn't perfect by American political standards (never mind the question of why these political standards should even apply to Spain), he was better than the alternative.

Similarly, you should be able to recognize that a statist nationalist is preferable to a statist multiculturalist in today's Europe, where the biggest threat comes from Third World immigration.

25 posted on 03/24/2014 10:44:00 AM PDT by ek_hornbeck
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