|Anti-immigration National Front leader Marine Le Pen|
Suicide by "Conservatism"
- The Death of the West - 75% of French voters opposed the anti-immigration Nation Front Party in elections Sunday. Right of center voters knee-jerked and supported the open borders "Conservatives" of the UPM.
- Both the Socialists and former "Conservative" UMP President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a “mobilization” of voters next week to defeat the anti-immigration National Front.
- The Islamization of Europe goes on and on.
(New York Times) - French voters turned toward right-leaning parties in local elections held Sunday across the country, signaling their disappointment and frustration with France’s governing Socialist Party.
However, they did not appear to flock in droves to the far-right party, the National Front, although it appeared to make a stronger showing than in any previous local elections, according to exit polls and some early returns on the Interior Ministry’s election website.
“This is the first layer of the 2017 presidential election,” said Michaël Darmon, the chief political editor at the news network i-Télé.
Exit polls showed the mainstream conservative party, the Union for a Popular Movement, and allied center-right parties taking about 30 percent of the vote and the National Front about 25 percent. About 20 percent went to the Socialists, while other left-leaning parties had far smaller numbers.
If those figures prove accurate once complete returns are in, they will mean that the National Front advanced considerably from the 15 percent it received in the first round of similar local elections in 2011 and that the Socialists lost ground, dropping from 25 percent in 2011.
Voters on Sunday chose 4,108 representatives on local councils in France’s 101 departments, which are administrative subdivisions somewhere between a state and a county but with relatively little power in the highly centralized French government. Parties could put forward a two-person ticket; if no team received more than 50 percent of the ballots, the top pairs in each district will head to a runoff next Sunday.
Leaders from each of the three main parties claimed a victory of sorts. Prime Minister Manuel Valls, a Socialist, said that even if the Socialists did not do well, the total number of voters who cast a ballot for left-leaning parties was the same as those on the right.
Mr. Valls and former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was recently elected to lead the Union for a Popular Movement, or the UMP, called for a “mobilization” of voters next week to defeat the National Front.
Mr. Sarkozy stopped short of calling on voters to support Socialist candidates in the runoffs in order to stop a National Front candidate from winning. In contrast, Mr. Valls said voters should vote for anyone who was running against the National Front. He also implored left-leaning voters to band together “and adopt a clear position against the extreme right.”
Before the election, many analysts noted that while the conservative and center-right parties had managed to form coalitions, the left remained fractured. Some French analysts also saw the Socialists’ losses as a referendum on the presidency of François Hollande, who has been unable to make significant progress on promises to improve the economy, reduce unemployment and overhaul the system of social benefits to make them more sustainable.
The National Front, once seen as a fringe party, has sought to broaden its appeal in recent years, seizing on dissatisfaction with Mr. Hollande and the economy, disarray within the UMP, and widening resentment of immigrants in France. Its leader, Marine Le Pen, projects an image as a pragmatic nationalist who is tough, patriotic and accessible.
What emerged clearly in this election is the “tripolarization” of the French political landscape, said Thomas Guénolé, a political analyst. He pointed to the development of three distinct strands: the mainstream right and left parties, both contending with internal troubles, and the National Front, which has gained ground over the last few elections.
Nearly half of France’s eligible voters cast their ballots on Sunday. It is difficult to get a clear sense of voters’ bottom line, however, until after the runoffs. While the National Front historically does well in the first round of voting, it has not in the past been able to maintain that momentum into the second round. Although it will be a contender, few people believe it will even win enough seats to control any department in France.
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