French author jailed in latest opinion crime crackdown

The French author Hervé Ryssen – pen name of 53-year-old Sorbonne graduate Hervé Lalin – has been jailed near Paris for the ‘crime’ of expressing opinions deemed ‘anti-semitic’.

Among his ‘crimes’ was publication of a book in 2018 entitloed ‘Antisemitism Without Complexity or Taboo’, which the court found to have ‘denied the Holocaust’.

Hervé Ryssen

Earlier this week the Paris court ordered that Hervé Ryssen must begin serving a 17 month jail sentence for this crime of questioning orthodox versions of mid-20th century history.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the French National Front and former presidential candidate, has denounced the sentence.

This week veteran British nationalist and National Front Directorate member Richard Edmonds, together with H&D assistant editor Peter Rushton, wrote to Mr Ryssen/Lalin in prison.

An English translation of the letter appears below.

From Richard Edmonds, …Sutton, Surrey, Angleterre. Dated 23. September 2020.

To Herve Ryssen-Lalin,
Maison d’Arret de Fleury-Merogis, prisoner number 459-091, 7 Avenue des Peupliers, F-91 700, Fleury-Merogis, France.

Dear Herve Ryssen-Lalin,

Everybody is talking about your incarceration and everybody is condemning it…the nationalist weekly news-paper, RIVAROL, the founder of the Front National, Jean -Marie Le Pen and all the friends of Free Speech.

At this very moment the trial is taking place in Paris of the murderers who attacked the offices of the (vile) satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and the President of France, Macron, has just stated that in France people have the right to blaspheme, meaning that the vile blasphemies of Charlie Hebdo are O.K.

[Note for British readers: a few years back, the front cover of the “satirical” French magazine showed a cartoon of the Holy Ghost buggering Jesus Christ who in turn was busy buggering His father, God Almighty; this filth all deemed O.K. by the French Establishment.]

Former Prime Minister Theresa May, alongside Sir Eric Pickles (chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) declares “I am a Jew”, in a campaign inspired by supporters of Charlie Hebdo

Macron went on to boast that in France there was Freedom of Speech…but that clearly does not include the freedom to discuss details of the Second World War, otherwise you, Monsieur Ryssen-Lalin, would not find yourself locked up in this prison and for many months to come. What to say ? We find ourselves in a hypocritical and tyrannical world.

One can only add that you find yourself in the company of first class persons: At this very time the very brave German woman, Ursula Haverbeck aged 91 years finds herself locked up in a German prison up for the “crime” of expressing her non-violent opinions regarding details of the Second World War: as does the German Revisionist Horst Mahler, aged 84, and the German defence lawyer, Frau Sylvia Stolz, both incarcerated for expressing their non-violent opinions on events that took place more than seventy years ago. I note that the French Revisionist, Vincent Reynouard was locked up in this same prison; he wrote a book on his experiences in Fleury-Merogis prison.

Sincerely, Richard Edmonds and Peter Rushton.

Rivarol editor convicted under French ‘hate speech’ laws

Jérôme Bourbon, editor of the long-established weekly journal Rivarol, has been given a nine-month suspended prison sentence by the Paris criminal court for the ‘crime’ of posting Twitter messages critical of international Zionism and raising questions about the state of free speech in 21st century France.

The three offending ‘tweets’ dated from 2018. M. Bourbon was banned from Twitter in 2019.

One of the offending ‘tweets’ commemorated First World War French hero Marshal Philippe Pétain, and had been posted by M. Bourbon to mark the centenary of the November 1918 armistice.

M. Bourbon was also required to pay ‘damages’ and court costs amounting to €6,000.

Rivarol is one of the longest established nationalist / traditionalist journals in the world, dating back almost seventy years to January 1951. Its 65th birthday banquet in 2016 was attended by Jean-Marie Le Pen and the late Prof. Robert Faurisson.

Le Pen’s RN wins control of Perpignan

Louis Aliot, RN winner in the Mediterranean city of Perpignan

For the first time since 2001, the main French nationalist and anti-immigration party has won control of a city with a population of more than 100,000. (click here for detailed results)

Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) won Sunday’s second-round election in Perpignan, a city of 120,000 inhabitants on the Mediterranean coast, very close to the French border with Spain. Under its previous name National Front (FN) – led by Mme Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen – the party controlled the slightly larger city of Toulon from 1997 to 2001.

Today was the second round in local elections across France, long delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic since the first round in March.

French local elections are carried out over two rounds, with voters choosing among party lists: the head of the winning list becomes mayor. The 35,000 local councils involved range from tiny villages to enormous cities, three of which (Paris, Lyon and Marseille) are also broken down into districts known as arrondissements with their own councils.

In Perpignan the RN slate headed by Louis Aliot defeated an alliance of conservative parties in the second round. Various defeated leftist, centrist and green parties had been knocked out in the first round and tried to urge their voters to back the conservatives to block the ‘fascist’ RN.

The half-Jewish M. Aliot was a leading official of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s FN, and is a Vice-President of the RN under Marine Le Pen. He had been a regional councillor in the Pyrénées-Orientales département (whose capital is Perpignan) since 2010.

Ludovic Pajot (above right) 26-year-old newly elected RN mayor of Bruay-la-Buissière

In other early results, the FN retained control of the northern town of Hénin-Beaumont and gained nearby Bruay-la-Buissière. Both are former coal mining towns of about 25,000 inhabitants, and are part of the Pas de Calais region that has become the main power base for Marine Le Pen.H&D will report on the full results tomorrow and analyse the implications for Mme Le Pen’s chances of eventually taking power in France.

A more detailed H&D analysis of the French elections is online here

Meanwhile today also saw the first round of Poland’s presidential election, where the populist-conservative incumbent President Andrzej Duda has qualified for the second round run-off, with exit polls showing he has won 41.8% of the vote against the pro-EU, centre-right candidate Rafał Trzaskowski.

A so-called ‘far right’ presidential candidate Krzysztof Bosak seems to have polled just over 7%. He represented a coalition of right-wing parties, some of which are relatively pro-Moscow.

Mixed results for RN in French elections

For the 2020 local elections the anti-immigration RN headed by Marine Le Pen (above right) formed joint slates with the much smaller eurosceptic party headed by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (above left)

On Sunday 28th June French local government elections held their decisive second round, postponed for more than three months due to Covid-19 restrictions.

These elections were for more than 35,000 communes across France, ranging from tiny villages to giant cities. The three largest cities (Paris, Lyon and Marseilles) also elect councillors and mayors in their various districts known as arrondissements. There are also regional councils known as départements, but these departmental elections (once known as cantonal elections) are held separately from the communes – most recently in 2015, and next due in 2021.

Similarly the mayors and councillors in the communes are elected to six-year terms, so the positions elected on Sunday were last elected in 2014.

In those days Marine Le Pen’s party was called the Front National (National Front – FN); it was renamed Rassemblement National (National Rally – RN) in 2018.

Six years ago the FN won 1,438 councillors spread across 463 communes. After this week’s second round the RN’s councillor total was down to 840, spread across 258 communes.

Despite this patchy performance, one headline result was very positive news for Marine Le Pen. Louis Aliot (who was Mme Le Pen’s domestic partner for a decade until last year) is the new Mayor of Perpignan, after his RN slate won the second round with 53.1% against 46.9% for his conservative opponent.

This is the first time in almost twenty years that the RN or FN has controlled a city with a population of more than 100,000. From 1997 to 2001 the FN controlled Toulon, a slightly larger city further along the Mediterranean coast.

Steeve Briois (above left) was re-elected Mayor of the RN stronghold Hénin-Beaumont after the first round of local elections in March

Aside from Perpignan, the other communes won by the RN this year are relatively small towns. Six of these had already been won on the first round in March, by the RN polling more than 50%.

All of these were communes that the FN/RN had already controlled since 2014:

  • the Mediterranean port of Fréjus; first round RN vote 50.6%, population 52,672
  • the Avignon suburb of Le Pontet; first round RN vote 57.2%, population 17,530
  • Beaucaire, a small town in the Rhône Valley ten miles south-west of Avignon; first round RN vote 59.5%, population 15,963
  • Villers-Cotterêts, a small town fifty miles north of Paris; first round RN vote 53.5%, population 10,872
  • Hayange, an ancient iron manufacturing town in the Lorraine region close to the Franco-German border; first round RN vote 63.1%, population 15,811
  • Hénin-Beaumont, a former coal mining town in the Pas de Calais region of northern France, and now the strongest nationalist area of France – very much the heartland of Marine Le Pen’s brand of populist nationalism; first round RN vote 74.2%, population 26,022

The three communes gained by the RN after Sunday’s second round were:

  • Perpignan, a city on the Mediterranean coast, very close to the Franco-Spanish border; RN second round vote 53.1%, population 120,158
  • Moissac, a small town in the Occitania region of southern France; RN second round vote 62.5%, population 13,039
  • Bruay-la-Buissière, a former coal mining town in the Pas de Calais, close to the existing RN stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont; RN second round vote 52.0%, population 21,831.

The bigger picture of last Sunday’s elections was a historically unprecedented win for the French green party EELV who gained control of several important cities including Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Besançon.

Stéphane Ravier, previously Mayor of a Marseilles arrondissement, was one of the RN’s high-profile defeats in Sunday’s second round, beaten by a conservative slate by a very tight 51-49 margin.

A joint slate of Greens, Communists and Socialists became the largest party grouping in Marseille, winning 38.3% in the second round ahead of a conservative coalition on 30.8%, the RN on 20.3%, and assorted dissident leftist and dissident conservative slates making up the remaining 10.2%.

After negotiations later this week a Green mayor is likely to take power in Marseille. The bad news for Marine Le Pen’s RN is that by a very tight margin their candidate Stéphane Ravier lost the mayoralty of the 13th-14th arrondissement of Marseilles. Under the old FN label he had won the mayoralty of the old 7th arrondissement in 2014 and had controlled the new 13th-14th after boundary changes in 2017.

On the bright side, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party suffered numerous defeats across the country. Opinion polls still suggest that the most likely second round in the next presidential election in 2022 will be between Macron and Marine Le Pen – and that Macron would again win such a contest, though by a closer margin than in 2017.

However Macron’s authority is steadily dribbling away. The challenge for Marine Le Pen’s party will now be to make a success of running Perpignan, make further gains in next year’s regional elections; and achieve the difficult balance between reassuring ‘mainstream’ voters that the nationalist right can be trusted, without disillusioning traditional nationalists whose support is still required to provide an activist base.

The danger is that purging ‘hardliners’ leads to an exodus of local government candidates and other activists, without inspiring an influx of new blood. Floating voters are all very well, but any party also needs a solid base of committed supporters.

Not much to celebrate: Macron in London for De Gaulle anniversary as French local elections approach

While many Britons still in the grip of the Covid-19 crisis tend to think France has by comparison done quite well, the French themselves increasingly despair of President Emmanuel Macron.

This neo-Blairite ‘centrist’ poseur was once a media favourite, but as with his Canadian equivalent Justin Trudeau, even the docile press have started to perceive his essential shallowness. Fine words about national unity sound increasingly fatuous when, as in the last few days, a city such as Dijon is gripped by race war between Chechen and Algerian gangs.

Gen. Charles de Gaulle (far right) in 1941 with (left to right) Polish exile Prime Minister Władysław Sikorski; Canadian Corps commander Gen. Andrew McNaughton; and Winston Churchill – who was later alleged to have ordered Sikorski’s assassionation (see articles in the two most recent editions of H&D).

This weekend Macron is in London for celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of Gen. Charles de Gaulle’s declaration in 1940 that rallied a minority of Frenchmen in an anti-German alliance with Winston Churchill’s British Empire.

(Presumably statues of these ‘racist colonialists’ will be protected for long enough to avoid embarrassment!)

Meanwhile France is preparing for the long-delayed second round of municipal elections being held in most of the country in nine days time (28th June). The first round was held way back on 15th March, but the second had to be postponed for three months due to the Covid-19 crisis.

These elections are in 35,000 communes across France, ranging from tiny villages to big cities. The three biggest cities – Paris, Lyon and Marseille – also have elections for arrondissements, roughly the equivalent of London boroughs, as well as city-wide councils.

Those communes with more than 1,000 electors vote on a two-round party list system, with the head of the winning list becoming mayor. To qualify for the second round a party list must poll above 10% in the first, but parties polling above 5% can negotiate to merge their lists with larger parties in advance of the second round, allowing many opportunities for horse-trading.

Serge Federbusch, the half-Hungarian, half-Algerian Jewish mayoral candidate in Paris for Marine Le Pen’s ‘far right’ National Rally (RN)

So in Paris for example, the incumbent Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo looks certain to win after striking a deal with the Greens to form a joint second round slate. The conservative slate in the French capital is headed by Rachida Dati, a half Moroccan, half-Algerian woman who once served as a spokesman and minister for ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy. This conservative slate is headed for second place, while Macron’s ‘centrist’ slate, headed by yet another woman, is in third.

Greens polled very well across the country during the first round contests in March, which were also notable for very low turnouts due to both Covid-19 and general political disillusionment. For whatever reason these low turnouts seem to have contributed to quite poor results for the main French nationalist party, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN – formerly the National Front) as well as for the far left.

Le Pen’s RN – which traditionally struggles in these local elections because the two round system doesn’t suit ‘extremist’ parties – has been reduced to a small number of strongholds such as Hénin-Beaumont in the far north Pas de Calais region.

Despite forming a joint slate with the eurosceptic party Debout la France, the RN managed only 8,114 first round votes (1.5%) across the whole of Paris, where its mayoral candidate was ex-socialist Serge Federbusch, son of Hungarian and Algerian-Jewish communists. This was down from 42,560 votes (6.3%) in 2014.

However the good news for Le Pen (and perhaps also for the struggling President Macron) is that the conservative right is also failing. For example, the incumbent conservatives were beaten into second place by a green-socialist slate in Marseille.

Le Pen’s RN slate finished third in Marseille with 19.4% (having been runner-up with 23.2% at the previous elections in 2014), but whereas the greens, socialists, communists and all but one of the ultra-leftist factions have united for the second round, the conservatives still regard Le Pen’s movement as ‘beyond the pale’, so they will continue to oppose each other.

So long as there is no ‘mainstream’ conservative revival, Marine Le Pen is likely to qualify for the run-off in the next presidential election, either against Macron or some sort of socialist.

Marion Maréchal – niece of Marine Le Pen and granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen – might be the future of French nationalism.

One remaining question is whether Macron will run his full presidential term until 2022, or choose to call a ‘snap’ election this year and seek a fresh mandate post-Covid. Despite his unpopularity, this might prove his best bet due to a divided opposition, but the question then would be whether this election (in 2020 or 2022) is Marine Le Pen’s last shot.

The RN leader has made a lot of enemies with her efforts to purge the RN of traditional nationalist themes. An example of this could be seen this week, as Marine Le Pen sought in vain to be included in the ranks of mainstream politicians paying tribute to De Gaulle.

The next presidential campaign will be her third. Will she be allowed a fourth? Or will French nationalism once again head for realignment under a new leader, perhaps Marine Le Pen’s niece Marion Maréchal?

Winners and losers as Europe’s populist tide ebbs and flows

Leading figures in ‘The Movement’, an alliance of European populists – (left to right) former Trump adviser Steve Bannon; Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini; and Brussels-based Jewish lawyer Mischael Modrikamen

While Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party celebrated big victories in this week’s European elections, the much-advertised populist breakthrough proved to be at best a patchy affair.

Predictably the big populist winners included Italy‘s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, whose anti-immigration Lega party topped the polls with 34.3% and 29 seats – a huge increase on their 6.2% and five seats in 2014, when the party was known as Lega Nord (Northern League).

Also continuing to advance were the nationalist-conservative governing parties in Poland and Hungary.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party are suspended from the European conservative group EPP, but Orban had the last laugh this week. While most European conservative parties are in crisis, Fidesz increased their support to 52.3%, up from 51.5% in 2014.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban was among the big winners at this year’s Euro-elections

A very radical nationalist party polled exceptionally well in Slovakia. Marian Kotleba’s People’s Party Our Slovakia – a party that stands staunchly in the tradition of Slovakia’s wartime leader Monsignor Jozef Tiso – gained two MEPs after polling 12.1% (up from 1.8% in 2014).

By contrast some previously successful populist and anti-Islam parties suffered poor results. The once-influential Dutch Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders was wiped out, losing all four of their MEPs and polling 3.5% (down from 13.2% in 2014).

Also badly beaten was the Danish People’s Party who lost three of their four MEPs after their vote fell from 26.6% to 10.7%. Voters in Denmark showed the strongest evidence of a trend also witnessed in some other European countries: an anti-populist backlash with increased turnouts among previously apathetic voters.

Marine Le Pen, once Europe’s most successful anti-immigration politician, has been to some extent eclipsed by her Italian ally Salvini, but Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) – previously the National Front (FN) – again topped the poll in France with 23.3% (slightly down from the FN’s 24.9% in 2014). The more ‘moderate’ French eurosceptic party France Arise (DLF) led by Farage’s main French ally Nicolas Dupont-Aignan fell below the 5% threshold to obtain MEPs. DLF polled 3.5% (down from 3.8% under an earlier party name in 2014).

Marine Le Pen (leader of the renamed French National Front) stayed top of the polls, but her ally Geert Wilders saw his Dutch Freedom Party wiped out.

Le Pen’s former FN vice-president Florian Philippot broke away in September 2017 to form a splinter party called The Patriots, mainly on the European issue: unlike Le Pen he wants France to leave the European Union. Philippot’s party polled only 0.7% despite seeking to appropriate the name of the anti-establishment “yellow vest” street protestors.

Having lost one of her main European parliamentary allies with the demise of Geert Wilders’ Dutch Freedom Party, Le Pen will have been greatly cheered by the landslide gains for the Flemish nationalists Vlaams Belang. In simultaneous Belgian regional, parliamentary and European elections, VB’s young leader Tom Van Grieken (elected in 2014 as a 28-year-old) succeeded in turning round the party’s fortunes.

VB now have 18 seats in the Belgian Parliament (up from 3 in 2014) and three MEPs (up from one in 2014).

The other important Le Pen ally is the Austrian Freedom Party, who managed to hold on 18.1% (down from 19.7% in 2014) despite a financial scandal that has destroyed the career of party leader and former Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache. In fact these European elections pale into insignificance against the background of Austria’s political crisis, which has now brought down the government and provoked a general election to be held in September.

Rather than consistent populist/nationalist success, the main event of this year’s European elections in most of the continent was a dramatic increase in turnout: up from 42.2% to 50.1% in France; from 48.1% to 61.4% in Germany; and from 43.8% to 64.3% in Spain.

Golden Dawn supporters rally outside the Greek Parliament

The new Spanish anti-immigration party Vox elected three MEPs for the first time after polling 6.2% (up from 1.6% in 2014 but down from 10.3% at this year’s general election).

In Germany the civic nationalist and anti-immigration party AfD (Alternative for Germany) polled 4.1m votes (11.0%), up from 2.1m votes (7.1%) in 2014, increasing their tally of MEPs from seven to eleven.

One side-effect of AfD’s success was the defeat of the long-established German nationalist party NPD, who polled 101,000 votes (0.3%), down from 301,000 votes (1.0%) in 2014. The NPD’s sole MEP Udo Voigt consequently lost his seat. Two smaller German nationalist parties also contested the Euro-election. Die Rechte polled 25,000 votes for a slate headed by 90-year-old author and historical justice campaigner Ursula Haverbeck, who is presently serving a prison sentence for “holocaust denial”. The III Path (Dritte Weg) polled 13,000 votes.

Greek national socialist party Golden Dawn lost one of their three MEPs after polling 4.8%, down from 9.4% in 2014 (though in contrast to some populist parties Golden Dawn is disproportionately strong among young voters). Their Maltese counterparts Imperium Europa, a national socialist party led by Norman Lowell, polled 3.2%, up from 2.8% in 2014.



Former Trump adviser on European tour – plans to set up new European populist ‘Movement’

Leading figures in ‘The Movement’, an alliance of European populists – (left to right) former Trump adviser Steve Bannon; Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini; and Brussels-based Jewish lawyer Mischael Modrikamen

Steve Bannon, the controversial former adviser to President Trump and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, is touring European capitals this week and meeting a range of political leaders.

Bannon plans to develop a pan-European alliance of populist forces under the label ‘The Movement’. This was officially registered in January by a Belgian lawyer called Mischael Modrikamen, who is a well-known figure in the Jewish community in Brussels and leader of a tiny party called the People’s Party.

Modrikamen is a friend and ally of Nigel Farage, through whom he was introduced to Bannon.

The most important figures already signed up to ‘The Movement’ are Italian deputy prime minister and interior minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-immigration Lega, and his ally Giorgia Meloni, leader of Fratelli d’Italia (‘Brothers of Italy’), the most significant of several groups that grew out of the former fascist party MSI.

Steve Bannon with Giorgia Meloni last weekend at the conference of her ‘post-fascist’ party Fratelli d’Italia

Bannon spoke at the Fratelli d’Italia conference in Rome last weekend. He told an enthusiastic crowd: “Trump and Brexit and [the Italian general election in] March 2018 are all inextricably linked: it’s a rejection of the way things are and it’s a way forward … it’s the little guy saying ‘we have a better idea’ … and the first thing is a rejection of what the elites have foisted on Western civilization.”

After Rome, Bannon went on to Prague where he met Czech President Milos Zeman, who comes from a very different political tradition to Bannon’s Italian hosts. While Salvini’s roots are in regional separatism and Meloni’s are in the postwar development of Italy’s fascist tradition, President Zeman is one of the last of the old Eastern European politicians rooted in a version of socialism. A Communist party member until 1970, Zeman created the Social Democratic Party and was a centre-left Prime Minister for several years, but more recently has moved towards a radically anti-immigration populism, winning re-election as President earlier this year.

Like Bannon’s other allies, Zeman is closer to Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin than to the liberal elites who control the European Union.

 

 

Setback for Le Pen in French Assembly election


Marine-Le-Pen 2017

A month after her defeat in the French Presidential election (where she had been only the second FN candidate ever to reach the second round run-off) Marine Le Pen’s National Front (FN) had disappointing results yesterday in the first round of parliamentary elections to the French National Assembly.

The FN polled just under 3 million votes (13.2%), down from 3.5m (13.6%) at the previous Assembly election in 2012, and 7.7m (21.3%) in the presidential first round just seven weeks ago.

One feature of yesterday’s election was a sharp drop in turnout, down to 48.7% from 57.2% in 2012.  Indeed before 2012 even these Assembly elections always had turnouts over 60%: in the 1980s and earlier turnout was over 70%.

This widespread disillusionment with the political process is not a strong foundation for the new French President, former Rothschild banker turned ‘centrist’ politician Emmanuel Macron, whose new party En Marche! seems set for a landslide victory in next week’s second round.

The new party formed by President Emmanuel Macron is set for a landslide majority in the French Assembly.

The new party formed by President Emmanuel Macron is set for a landslide majority in the French Assembly.

Macron’s manifesto is bland and vacuous even by modern political standards, so once in office he is bound to alienate some sections of his present support.

Marine Le Pen correctly points out that the two-round system is heavily biased against her party, unlike the proportional voting used in 1986, which allowed her father Jean-Marie Le Pen and his supporters to win 35 Assembly seats.  In 2012 the FN took only two seats, having had none in 2007 and only one member re-elected in 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2002.

Normally the top two candidates in the first round progress into next week’s run-off (though in a handful of cases either one candidate will be elected immediately by winning a majority of the electorate in the first ballot; or a third candidate will qualify for the second-round by managing 12.5% or more of the electorate in the first-round – note these percentages relate to the electorate, not merely those who turn out – so they are high hurdles to jump.)

In 2012 the two FN Assembly winners were both in southern France. Marion Maréchal Le Pen (the leader’s niece) was elected last time aged 22, but temporarily stepped aside from politics before this year’s election, partly due to differences with her aunt.  She clearly disagreed with some of the party’s present direction, being both more socially conservative than Marine on issues such as same-sex marriage; more traditionally ‘hardline’ on racial/religious/immigration questions; less interested in appeasing international Zionism; and less concerned with pursuing quasi-socialist appeals to working-class voters.

27-year-old Marion Maréchal Le Pen, seen here with her grandfather FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, stood down at this election and is temporarily withdrawing from politics after disagreements with her aunt Marine Le Pen.

27-year-old Marion Maréchal Le Pen, seen here with her grandfather FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, stood down at this election and is temporarily withdrawing from politics after disagreements with her aunt Marine Le Pen.

Marion Maréchal’s Vaucluse constituency was in a prosperous region of South West France, contrasting with her aunt’s working-class power base in the far north. Her successor Hervé de Lépinau finished second with 31.8%, qualifying for next week’s second round but faces a tough battle with En Marche! candidate Brune Poirson, who topped the first round with 32.1%.

Similarly the FN’s other 2012 victor – barrister and Marine Le Pen loyalist Gilbert Collard – has a tough second round after narrowly topping the poll with 32.3%. His second-round opponent is female ex-bullfighter Marie Sara, one of several celebrity candidates for En Marche!, who took 32.2% in the first round.

One of the FN's two Assembly winners in 2012 – Gilbert Collard – is likely to lose his seat in the Gard region of the far south (part of the area once known as Languedoc).

One of the FN’s two Assembly winners in 2012 – Gilbert Collard – is likely to lose his seat in the Gard region of the far south (part of the area once known as Languedoc).

Marine Le Pen herself easily won the first round with 46.0% in her constituency near Calais, but even here she is not absolutely guaranteed election if the left rallies behind her En Marche! opponent, since the FN has already taken almost all of the right-wing vote here: the mainstream conservatives polled only 4.2% and the UKIP-style party DLF just 0.8%.

The leader of DLF – former Farage ally Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who reneged on a proposed parliamentary pact with the FN a few weeks ago – looks to be in trouble in his constituency, a prosperous suburb south of Paris which he has represented for 20 years. He finished second with 29.8%, behind En Marche! candidate Antoine Pavamani on 35.8%. Dupont-Aignan will struggle to survive in next week’s second round.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (right), seen here with his former ally Nigel Farage, is likely to lose his Assembly seat after reneging on a proposed pact with the FN.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (right), seen here with his former ally Nigel Farage, is likely to lose his Assembly seat after reneging on a proposed pact with the FN.

Sadly it now looks impossible for the FN to hit the important total of 15 National Assembly members, which would allow it to form an official parliamentary group with significant funding and guaranteed influence on important parliamentary committees. (In this respect the collapse of the deal with Dupont-Aignan might no longer be relevant, though it had been assumed that the latter’s support could be crucial in clearing the 15-seat hurdle.)

Though 118 FN candidates have qualified for next Sunday’s second round, a likely maximum target is ten Assembly seats, though they could easily slip to five or fewer: in which case (though this would still be the second-best parliamentary election in FN history) there will be serious questions within the party as to whether Marine Le Pen’s path of modernising and “de-demonisation” has been worth pursuing.

 

 

Le Pen polls best ‘far right’ result since Second World War

Marine Le Pen is likely to poll around 15% in this year's French presid.ential election, but is very unlikely to qualify for the second round run-off

Marine Le Pen polled 34% in this year’s French presidential election.

[spacer height=”20px”]In the second round of the French presidential election, National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen achieved the best ‘far right’ election result since the Second World War, facing former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron, who only a year ago formed his own political party En Marche!

Marine Le Pen has won 34%, against 66% for Macron. Around 11% – 4 million French voters cast a “blank” ballot, a record total indicating Macron’s failure to mobilise support among many trade unionists and socialists.

The result represents about double the FN vote on its only previous second round appearance: in 2002 the party’s founder Jean-Marie Le Pen polled 17.8%.

The past year has seen traditional French political parties crushed. Incumbent Socialist President François Hollande was so unpopular that he didn’t even stand for re-election. His replacement as Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon polled only 6.4%. One commentator on the BBC has just admitted: “the Socialist Party as we knew it is now dead.”

Former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy failed to win his party’s nomination, and his replacement – neo-Thatcherite François Fillon – finished a poor third in the first round with 20.0%, only just ahead of a Marxist candidate.

One consequence of this collapse of traditional parties is that neither Macron nor Le Pen has significant backing in the French parliament, the National Assembly: there will be parliamentary elections later this year.

Macron – a French version of Tony Blair – has won this election. But his pretence to represent something “new” and “anti-establishment” is so thin, and his political programme so utterly vacuous, that Marine Le Pen and the FN can look forward with confidence to representing the future of France: provided they hold the nerve and avoid the ever present temptation of grovelling to the globalisers.

Best ever vote for French National Front

Marine Le Pen - FN Congress

Marine Le Pen of the French National Front (Front National) has qualified for the second-round run-off in the French presidential elections with 21.3%, according to official final results from the first round released this afternoon. She will face ‘centrist’ candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round, after Macron won the first round with 24.0%.

We should also bear in mind that the traditionalist conservative and eurosceptic Nicolas Dupont-Aignan polled 4.7% – better than expected – which ought logically to go to Marine Le Pen in the second round. By contrast the official conservative candidate François Fillon confirmed last night that the mainstream French right has committed suicide: he called on his supporters to vote for Macron in the second round – indicating that whatever happens in two weeks time, only Le Pen and the FN stand for genuine change in France.

The previous best FN result was in 2002, when Mme Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen (the party’s founder) won 16.9% and similarly qualified for the second round.

Speaking to FN activists last night, Marine Le Pen said:

You have brought me to the second round of the presidential election. I’d like to express my most profound gratitude. The first step that should lead the French people to the l’Elysée has been taken. This is a historic result.

It is also an act of French pride, the act of a people lifting their heads. It will have escaped no one that the system tried by every means possible to stifle the great political debate that must now take place. The French people now have a very simple choice: either we continue on the path to complete deregulation, or you choose France.

You now have the chance to choose real change. This is what I propose: real change/ It is time to liberate the French nation from arrogant elites who want to dictate how it must behave. Because yes, I am the candidate of the people.

The May-June 2017 edition of Heritage and Destiny will carry extended analysis of the French election and other European developments that contrast with the dismal state of racial nationalism (and even the UKIP-style right) in the UK.

 

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