In the south of France, Marine Le Pen hopes that his far-right party is going to break the glass ceiling by winning the regional elections, promoting it chances: to become president next year.
Although the winner of Sunday’s vote in Provence-Alpes-C Կte d’Azur will deal only with local issues such as transport and school buildings, the stakes are high as Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN) party could win one of France for the first time. 13 regions.
This would give his party a chance to prove that it can govern more than it has in small towns so far. With RN running as a strong candidate, Le Pen’s hopes are likely to pay off.
“If RN wins the PACA, it will be a real event. “It will show that traditional political parties can no longer stop them,” said Dominique Raine, a professor of political science. Fondapol Analytical Center “If they take the region, it means they can take the country.”
Le Pen recruited RN regional candidate Thierry Marianne, an experienced politician from the center-right Les Républicains (LR) party, betting that he would be trusted by voters. Such tactics are all part of Le Pen’s efforts to normalize the extremist movement founded by his father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in the 1970s.
They seem to be working. Mariani’s list of local officials is leading the polls in both the first round on Sunday and the second round scheduled for June 27. Nationally, RN is also in first place in six regions և on the way to surpassing its regional indicators in 2015, when it won the most votes in the first round.
During a campaign in the medieval town of Brignoles, incumbent President Reno Muselier urged voters not to fall into the trap of Le Pen, arguing that Mariani was a “Trojan horse” to pull voters away from the traditional right. “It is worrying that people confuse the presidential elections with the local elections. Do not make this mistake. ” he told the crowd of several hundred.
Even so, many politicians seem to be doing just that, turning this year’s regional vote into an attempt to dress up for next May’s presidential election. Parties fight for influence as polls restart In 2017, predict a narrow race with President Emanuel Macron և Le Pen in the second round.
Adding to this Sunday’s bets, two presidential candidates, Valerie Pécresse and Xavier Bertrand, are vying for victory in their respective Ile-de-France-J-O-France regions. Everyone wants to prove that they are The best standard bearer for a Gaul LR party,
Perhaps most importantly, the regional elections will test the political alliances – tactical voting, which is key to France’s two-stage electoral system – can make the results extremely unpredictable.
According to the approach known as: front ռ:It ispublication:Voters on both the left and the right often vote tactically to block the victory of the far right, in their view, to defend the ideals of equality and the rule of law. In 2002, that prevented Jean-Marie Le Pen from winning the presidency. In 2017, it also helped Macron to beat Marine Le Pen.
Regardless frontal rIt ispublication: It happens again, it remains an open question. Much depends on what the left-wing party does, that is, if the candidates come out, then its supporters tactically vote against RN.
In the south of France, a tasteless alternative to the left would effectively hand over the region to the far right. As for the center-right, his desire to avoid the RN prompted Muselier to form an unexpected alliance with Macron’s party, a move that ultimately he replied after it collided in his camp,
Campaigning in Marseille, Marianne rejected the idea that the RN was a threat to democratic values. “RN is a party today, like any other, it has nothing to do with the caricature of the past,” he said at the rally.
“Marine Le Pen has never been convicted of a crime; he does not have the same language excesses as his father,” he added, referring to Le Pen’s 2018 denial of the gravity of the Holocaust gas chambers.
On the contrary, the FN was “ahead of its time” on issues such as crime and immigration, Marianne claims. “If we win, I think it will be good for the region. “If Marine Le Pen wins, it will be good for France.”
Returning to Brinjoles, his opponent Muselier strongly disagreed that the RN had developed or even qualified to manage the 5-meter area. He named the party after himself old name Front National as a reminder of its roots.
“These are the same people, the same ideas, but stronger, even more dangerous, because they are hidden,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to disguise them.”
The fact that the far right works well in Provence-Alpes-C :te d’Azur is not at all surprising, says Kristel Lagier, a professor at Avignon University who studies Australia’s far right.
Many of the French residents of Algeria in the 1960s were known as: black leg moved to the territory when the North African country gained independence, sowing the then new far-right movement.
Such allegiances faded over time, Lagier said. Instead, there are many RN voters today Junior: The working class is angry at what they think is growing income inequality, poor access to housing, and the feeling that they are paying too much tax while immigrants are receiving more state aid.
However, Lagier is not convinced that RN will win here. “For 20 years, people predicted that the region would win, but they have not won yet,” he said.
“It is difficult for them to attract competent candidates. “There is a paradox of a party that wins votes, which it abstains from voting for, but it is a rather weak structure.”