April 30, 2012
France's New Right Eyes the Mainstream
Lysiane Gagnon, Globe and Mail
It was distressing to see extremist candidates take a third of all votes cast in the first round of France’s presidential election. About 4 per cent opted for an assortment of marginal anti-capitalist candidates, and 11 per cent threw their support behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the Left Front, a coalition that includes the Communist Party. But the major shock was the rise of the far-right National Front’s Marine Le Pen. With 18 per cent of the vote, she will be a force to reckon with and might eventually become the major voice for the French right. The main contenders, centre-right President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate François Hollande, respectively won 27 and 29 per cent of the vote.