THE CIRCULAR

The normalisation of far right politics in France

Photo by Greg Roose on Pixabay

Participating twice in the second round in the last two presidential elections, far right politics in France is gaining more and more ground. French presidential election was help from the 10th to the 24th of April and confirmed the progress of the far right party Rassemblement National (National Rally). At the end of this last round, the outgoing president Emmanuel Macron was re-elected with 58.6% of votes against 41.5% of votes for Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right party.

15.6 million French viewers watched the debate when the two candidates clashed with each other for about three hours. Emmanuel Macron who led the first round of the election with 28% of the vote confirmed his presidential experience by winning the opening match against Marine Le Pen. Despite its defeat, the far right party recorded a score never achieved before of 13.2 million votes in its favour. The rise of the French far right started 20 years ago, on 21 April 2002 when Jean-Marie Le Pen, created a political earthquake reaching the second round for the first time since the creation of the party, before losing to Jacques Chirac elected with 86% of the votes.

The Rassemblement National progress over the past years is also due to a 15 years detoxification strategy to transform itself into a “normal party” by trying to put aside the extreme statements and ideas of the past. The high media profile of new like-minded candidates, such as the polemicist Éric Zemmour convicted several times for inciting hate speech and considered to be a promoter of racist and sexist ideas.

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