Vincent Reynouard faces extradition with courage and confidence in the future of revisionism

The French revisionist scholar Vincent Reynouard, who has been held in Edinburgh prison since his arrest in November 2022, will be extradited to France next week after it became clear that there was no further avenue of appeal. (The photo above shows the late Richard Edmonds presenting Vincent with the Robert Faurisson International Prize 2020.)

As we reported a few days ago, Scotland’s most senior judge rejected Vincent’s appeal after a hearing at Edinburgh’s High Court of Justiciary. Although Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom, the UK Supreme Court in London has no jurisdiction in his case.

Vincent Reynouard issued a statement at his blog yesterday. (English translation below)

The news of my upcoming extradition having spread, correspondents wrote to me to tell me that I must be disappointed and undoubtedly demoralised. I thank them and reassure them: I am neither.

When, on the evening of January 26th, a fellow inmate informed me that Scottish television had announced the High Court’s decision, I was making a watercolour for the widow of the revisionist Carlos Porter. After asking my informant a few questions, I quietly got back to work.

Disappointment and demoralisation are consequences of our personal desires. Now, personally, I don’t want anything. I fulfil my mission by spreading revisionism. When I physically die, I will be rewarded for it.

For their part, do my contemporaries deserve the truth? If so, then I will see my work bear fruit. Otherwise, the seeds sown will germinate after my death, or perhaps never. I can’t do anything about it; It’s God’s business, not mine.

Here in Edinburgh Prison, my life has not changed one bit. In the calm of my cell, I write, I read, I draw and I meditate. Far from appearing as a fearsome spectre, the upcoming extradition presents itself as a simple door opening onto the future, a continuation which, if the ordeals are experienced positively, will prove enriching. Hence my serenity.

Last thing: according to the BBC, the High Court magistrates stressed that in the current context, all my videos were “grossly offensive” to all citizens of a modern society. Proof of the importance of World War II revisionism: it leaves no one indifferent. I had noted this for a long time. For revisionism, it is a great victory. So why would I be disappointed or demoralized?

Thank you to you who support me.

Vincent Reynouard

Both at H&D and at our assistant editor’s Real History Blog, we shall continue to report on Vincent’s case, and on the broader revisionist struggle. It appears that the UK is to be the new frontline for attempts to criminalise revisionism. If so, our enemies should be warned that there will be no surrender.

Mossad’s investment in the Le Pen dynasty finally paying off?

Roger Auque, Mossad agent and father of Marion Maréchal

Last week Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella (the president of her Rassemblement National party) gave unequivocal support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Le Pen’s niece Marion Maréchal, who next year will lead the European parliamentary election slate of a rival nationalist party Reconquête!) is an even more staunch and longstanding Zionist, saying that “France must stand unambiguously alongside Israel in this new ordeal.”

Marion Maréchal as a guest at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, in 2018

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, since Marion Maréchal’s real father Roger Auque was an agent of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.

In a new article at the Real History blog, H&D‘s Peter Rushton examines the strange connections between the Le Pen dynasty and Mossad.

Dominique Venner – a hero of the True Europe

Ten years ago – on 21st May 2013 – a great French racial nationalist, Dominique Venner, committed suicide in dramatic circumstances at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Venner’s father had been part of Jacques Doriot’s pre-war nationalist party. He was himself politically active from the mid-1950s until his death, as one of the leading figures in an intellectual movement known as the Nouvelle Droite, together with Alain de Benoist, Pierre Krebs, and the late Guillaume Faye. The ND’s leaders later came to disagree with each other on some fundamental issues, but for the past sixty years their work has been among the highest quality contributions to European resistance.

Usually, racial nationalists should disapprove of pessimism, and especially suicide, since our racial nationalist ideology is a celebration of life and optimism.

Of course, some leading European nationalists have killed themselves in exceptional situations, but in today’s world we should not usually accept that suicide is a positive political option.

But Venner was 78 and very seriously ill. He wanted to make a final political gesture while he was able to do so.

Dominique Venner died as he had lived – as a hero of the True Europe.

French nationalists forge ahead: Macron’s project in crisis

‘Centrist’ French President Emmanuel Macron – the ultimate Rothschild / Goldman Sachs politician – was lionised by international liberal journalists when he defeated nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen in 2017 (and to a lesser extent when he won re-election last year).

But the wheels have now come off Macron’s globalist project, and French nationalists once again seem poised for power.

The immediate crisis is due to Macron’s proposals to raise the pension age, as part of a package of reforms designed to shift social and economic policies away from the traditional French ‘big state’ towards a more Anglo-American, privatised, ‘business friendly’ model. Having failed to win a majority at last year’s parliamentary elections, Macron has opted to bypass the National Assembly and impose his new policy by presidential decree. This approach – reminiscent of the most chaotic years of Germany’s Weimar Republic – has understandably inflamed violent street protests.

The Le Pen dynasty whose family drama has dominated French nationalism for decades. (above left to right) Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the Front National, now 94 years old and hospitalised after a heart attack last weekend; his granddaughter Marion Maréchal, now associated with the dissident nationalist party Reconquête; and his daughter Marine Le Pen, leader of the rebranded FN now known as Rassemblement National.

Both the traditional left and Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National have strongly resisted these moves and present themselves as champions of French workers. Le Pen has for more than a decade succeeded in realigning her party (founded as the Front National by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen) towards what some would regard as more ‘left-wing’ economic policies.

Meanwhile Le Pen’s rival Éric Zemmour is pitching for a very different vote. His party Reconquête is more hardline on racial questions and less squeamish than Le Pen on issues related to French history, such as the legacy of Marshal Philippe Pétain’s wartime government at Vichy. Perhaps because Zemmour is Jewish, he has an ‘alibi’ that allows him to be relatively frank about Second World War history and more tolerant of semi-revisionist positions, from which Le Pen (unlike her father) is desperate to dissociate herself.

More directly relevant to most French voters, however, is Zemmour’s far more conservative stance on economic questions, where Reconquête is much closer to the Anglo-American mainstream right and pitches for middle-class voters, competing with the declining French conservative party (now rebranded as ‘Republicans’). Zemmour’s allies present his party as the only real voice of the ‘right’ in French politics.

In the most recent opinion polls, Zemmour is backed by 6-7% of the electorate (about the same as his 7.1% at last April’s presidential election), while Le Pen would lead a hypothetical first round with 30-33%, a significant advance on her 23.2% last year. Le Pen is well ahead of Macron’s likely successors as ‘centrist’ candidate, who would take 23-24% in the first round and compete with the far-left for the privilege of facing Le Pen in a second round run-off. (Macron himself is constitutionally barred from standing for a third term.)

In a legislative election, Le Pen’s RN would compete with the far-left, polling roughly 26% each, ahead of the President’s party on 22%. An alliance of the Republicans and other conservative parties is presently polling only 10-11%; while Reconquête polls slightly under 5%, as do dissident elements of the once-mighty Socialist Party who refuse to ally with the far-left. This is an obvious recipe for continued stalemate in the National Assembly, even if another ‘centrist’ President succeeded Macron.

Le Pen’s rival Éric Zemmour

Zemmour will turn 65 in August, and would be almost 69 at the next scheduled presidential election in 2027. The main far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon is seven years older than Zemmour, and even Marine Le Pen (a decade younger than Zemmour) is seen by some French nationalists as only having one more credible shot at the presidency.

Given the strange dynastic pattern of French nationalism, the future of the movement might still belong to Marine’s niece Marion Maréchal, who is allied to Zemmour. To be a credible leader and future presidential candidate, Maréchal will have to transcend bitter rivalries (including a personal split with her aunt); bridge the gap between the RN’s economic interventionism and Reconquête’s pro-capitalist stance; continue to present racially conscious nationalism as serious and electable; and escape the taint of Putinism that caused serious damage to Zemmour’s campaign last year.

This might seem a tough proposition, but the crises and contradictions facing ‘centrist’, liberal and leftist strands in French politics are even more intractable.

Despite many obvious obstacles, the future of French politics belongs to nationalism. Jean-Marie Le Pen changed European politics when he built the Front National into a serious electoral force during the 1980s: in their different ways, his daughter and granddaughter have a genuine chance of entering the Elysée Palace as President of France.

Strong third-place for Marine Le Pen’s party in French by-election

Jean-Marc Garnier again finished a close third as RN candidate in the traditionally left-wing Ariège constituency.

Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National did well in Sunday’s by-election for one of the two seats in the National Assembly allocated to the department de l’Ariège, which is a very beautiful but rather poor and traditionally left-wing area of southern France, famous in history as the centre of the Cathar or Albigensian heresy.

The by-election was caused by irregularities in the conduct of the general election in this constituency.  The far-left candidate Bénédicte Taurine was elected at last year’s general election but has been forced to recontest the seat after the poll was quashed by the Constitutional Court. Ms Taurine represents a broad alliance of ultra-left groups which calls itself La France Insoumise (‘France Unbowed’), a title which reflects the oddly patriotic stance of French socialists who argue that economic liberalism (promoted by President Emmanuel Macron) is a betrayal of French traditions.

The RN’s vote went up by a quarter from 20% to 25% but that was not quite good enough to take RN candidate Jean-Marc Garnier into next Sunday’s second round, where the far-left’s Ms Taurine (whose first round vote slipped slightly from 33.1% to 31.2%) will run-off against a Socialist Party dissident, Martine Froger (whose vote rose from 20.0% to 26.4%, no doubt partly thanks to having her party’s name on the ballot paper this time).

François-Xavier Jossinet and the Reconquête party presented themselves as “the real Right”.

The strange situation is that last year the Le Pen candidate only missed out on the run-off by eight votes, but in this week’s by-election they were 155 votes short despite a substantial increase in their own backing. Rival nationalist party Reconquête (led by Éric Zemmour) polled 2.8% (down from 3.3% last year), but while in theory this means that a combined nationalist vote would have taken second rather than third place, no-one can be sure that the RN could have relied on Reconquête voters’ backing.

Reconquête continues to be an annoyance to Marine Le Pen. It would however be simplistic to think that the two parties’ electorates are simply interchangeable. It is noteworthy that MLP’s niece Marion Maréchal (whose credibility has been badly damaged by Reconquête‘s electoral failure, but who is still seen as the eventual successor to Zemmour and perhaps as the eventual leader of French nationalism) has severely criticised the RN for not taking steps against a RN deputy who opened a mega-mosque in his constituency funded by the Turkish government. (Le Pen did eventually condemn the deputy concerned for this ‘personal initiative’.)

At the same time Maréchal and Zemmour have more or less endorsed President Macron’s view that raising the retirement age is inevitable given the burden of pension payments on the public purse.

So, rather in contrast to the way things have usually been in the UK’s nationalist movement (broad and narrow), the French movement’s middle class supporters take a harder line on race than its working class base (as well as forming a much larger proportion of the movement’s electoral base than they do here).

Macron’s candidate polled only 10.7% (down from 20.0% last year, reflecting the challenge to the president’s authority during the pensions crisis), and as in last year’s election there was no ‘centre-right’ candidate.

The split in the nationalist vote was unfortunate, but hatred between the Socialists and the far-left will be much increased by the bitter run-off on April 2nd, regardless of who wins!

Disillusionment with the entire French political system no doubt contributed to a very low turnout of only 39.6% in the by-election’s first round, down from 56.4% last year, despite a very wide range of candidates to choose from, comprising two rival nationalists, a Trotskyist who polled 2%, plus a local independent with 2.2%, and a Macronist, as well as the two rival left-wingers who will contest the run-off.

Vincent Reynouard case latest: new warrant, delayed extradition hearing

French revisionist scholar Vincent Reynouard – who has been jailed in Edinburgh for almost four months despite not being accused of any crime under Scottish or English law – was handed further charges today while in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

As with the previous charges, these have been issued by French prosecutors who are seeking Vincent’s extradition to be tried under the ‘Gayssot Law’, introduced in 1990 by a French Communist MP.

This bans the expression of sceptical historical views about the ‘crimes against humanity’ defined at the Nuremberg Trial and in the 1945 ‘London Charter’ that established that trial.

Most obviously, the Gayssot Law prohibits sceptical research into ‘Holocaust’ history, which is banned in several European countries, though perfectly legal in the UK.

Vincent Reynouard (above right) in 2020,with the late Richard Edmonds, being presented with the Robert Faurisson International Prize.

Vincent Reynouard has previously been convicted several times of such ‘crimes’, and is best known for his investigation into the ‘Oradour massacre’ of June 1944. His published work about Oradour dates back to the 1990s, and he recently wrote a comprehensive investigation of this topic, now available (in French) from his website.

The latest warrant seems to reflect an admission by French prosecutors that they made an error in their initial warrant, under which Vincent Reynouard was arrested in Anstruther, Scotland, on 10th November last year. He has been held in Edinburgh Prison ever since his arrest.

An interview with Vincent Reynouard, by H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton, will appear in the May-June edition of Heritage and Destiny. Vincent will next appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on 20th April, and the full extradition trial is presently scheduled for 8th June, again in Edinburgh.

Updates on the Vincent Reynouard case will appear here soon.

Vincent Reynouard extradition update

Yesterday there was another court hearing in Edinburgh on the case of Vincent Reynouard, the French revisionist scholar who despite having committed no crime under UK law, was arrested at his home in Scotland on 10th November. Since then he has been held in Edinburgh Prison.

The French authorities demanded Vincent’s extradition to face charges under their law which forbids challenges to orthodox versions of 20th century history, including the ‘Holocaust’.

Vincent Reynouard is best known for his detailed investigation of the alleged ‘massacre’ at Oradour, in west-Central France, on 10th June 1944, as well as further revisionist research and analysis that can be read at his website.

The law under which he would be tried in France (and under which he has previously been convicted and served a prison sentence there) was introduced in 1990 by the Communist MP Jean-Claude Gayssot and the Jewish Socialist former prime minister Laurent Fabius.

Professor Robert Faurisson speaking at an event organised by H&D in Shepperton, West London, the day before his death in 2018.

Its original target was the French scholar Professor Robert Faurisson who was prosecuted and heavily fined several times under the ‘Gayssot Law’, and its main target today is Vincent Reynouard.

The court in Edinburgh will have to decide whether Scottish law allows for a man to be extradited for something that is not a crime in Scotland – and the case is therefore an important test of the new extradition arrangements that replaced the European Arrest Warrant system after Brexit.

Dr Fredrick Töben (above, second left) at the Newmarket Hotel, Port Adelaide, South Australia with (left to right) the late Jock Spooner (H&D patron); a visiting Cuban friend; Peter Hartung (Töben’s Adelaide Institute colleague); and Dave Astin.

In 2008 the German authorities attempted to extradite the Australian revisionist Dr Fredrick Töben from London using a European Arrest Warrant, after he was arrested while in transit at London’s Heathrow Airport. However this extradition attempt was defeated in the London courts, and after several weeks detention at Brixton Prison, Dr Töben was freed to return home to Australia.

In Vincent’s case a further preliminary hearing is due on 9th March, with the full case presently scheduled to be heard (again in Edinburgh) on 6th April.

Further reports will appear soon, both here at the H&D site, in our magazine, and at the Real History blog.

Vincent remains in good spirits. H&D readers wishing to send him a letter of support (in English or French) should write to: Vincent REYNOUARD, Prisoner Number 160071, HMP Edinburgh, Scottish Prison Service, 33 Stenhouse Road, Edinburgh, EH11 3LN.

RN chooses Le Pen’s successor

Jordan Bardella (above right) with his predecessor Marine Le Pen after he won the RN leadership earlier today.

The French nationalist party Rassemblement National (‘National Rally’) – which used to be the Front National (‘National Front’) until it was renamed in 2018, elected a new leader this weekend.

27-year-old Jordan Bardella, who had been acting as caretaker leader for the past few months, easily won the leadership election with 85% of the vote, against 15% for his rival Louis Aliot, 53-year-old Mayor of Perpignan and a vice-president of the party since the FN days.

Bardella became the third leader of the party since it was founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen half a century ago. Le Pen led the FN from 1972 until the start of 2011, and his daughter Marine has been leader of the FN/RN for the past eleven years.

Aliot – who is from an Algerian Jewish background – had called for the RN to purge all remnants of fascism, national-socialism, ‘anti-semitism’ or nostalgia for the Vichy government of Philippe Pétain. He also wanted the party to shun a more recent generation of radical ‘identitarians’, whom he labelled as extremists.

Louis Aliot (above left) was once very close to Marine Le Pen, but his 15% vote today was an emphatic rejection of his calls for the RN to purge ‘extremists’ and become a conservative-populist party.

Bardella by contrast – though very close to outgoing leader Marine Le Pen and by no means a representative of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s ‘old school’ nationalism – favours a more broadly-based party, including older ideological traditions, and is known to have friendly links to some in the historical revisionist movement, whose best known French champion was the late, great scholar Professor Robert Faurisson.

Marine Le Pen stood down from the party leadership so as to concentrate on leading the RN bloc inside the French National Assembly, where her party won an unexpectedly large number of seats in this year’s elections and is now (at parliamentary level) the strongest nationalist party in Europe.

It is expected that Le Pen and Bardella will work easily together. What is unclear for now is whether Aliot will accept his defeat (which was by an unexpectedly wide margin) or whether he will follow the logic of his campaign’s critique and break away to form a new, more ‘moderate’, conservative-populist party.

Huge gains for Le Pen as Macron government loses majority

Voting has ended across France in today’s decisive second round of elections for the National Assembly.

Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (previously the National Front) achieved perhaps the greatest election result in the postwar history of European nationalism, advancing from eight seats in 2017 to 89 seats today.

At previous Assembly elections the two-round electoral system tended to favour ‘centrist’ candidates. The big exception was in 1986, when Socialist President François Mitterrand deliberately introduced a proportional representation system to divide the conservative vote, boosting the RN’s predecessor Front National, led by Marine Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie. The FN gained 35 seats at that 1986 election but immediately slipped back two years later when the PR system was abolished.

Today’s election reversed that usual pattern, with heavy losses for both President Macron’s party and for the French conservatives, now known as ‘Republicans’.

Le Pen’s RN won 89 seats today and will be the third-largest block in the new Assembly, where President Macron’s coalition has lost exactly a hundred seats and will be 42 seats short of a majority.

One early result was the defeat of Macron’s health minister Brigitte Bourguignon, who lost her constituency in Pas-de-Calais by just 56 votes to Le Pen’s candidate Christine Engrand.

Similarly the President of the National Assembly, Macron supporter Richard Ferrand, narrowly lost his seat in Finistère to a far-left candidate. Other members of the government losing their seats to leftists included ecology minister Amélie de Montchalin and sports minister Roxana Maracineanu (a silver medallist in swimming at the 2000 Sydney Olympics). Ms Maracineanu lost her seat in a Paris suburb to an African woman who was famous for leading a cleaners’ strike at one of the French capital’s biggest hotels.

Lame duck presidents? Emmanuel Macron (above right with Joe Biden) waves goodbye to credible government.

Exit poll projections were highly accurate in predicting excellent results for both the RN and for the left-wing coalition formed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which will be the main opposition in the new Assembly. This left-green coalition won 142 seats, with another thirteen won by assorted left-wingers who don’t accept Mélenchon’s leadership. Other MPs from tiny parties include the Eurosceptic Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, easily re-elected in the constituency he has represented now for 25 years, who on many issues will vote with the FN.

Today’s result is a remarkable boost for Marine Le Pen, who as recently as February seemed likely to be ousted from her leadership of French nationalism by an alliance of her niece Marion Maréchal and controversial journalist Éric Zemmour. The new Zemmour-Maréchal party Reconquête crashed out of the Assembly elections last weekend, failing to qualify for a single second-round contest, whereas Le Pen’s RN has achieved the greatest result in the history of French nationalism.

Five years ago mainstream commentators confidently predicted a new era of ‘centrism’ under Macron, but the French Fifth Republic now increasingly resembles the German Weimar Republic of 1919-1933.

The July-August edition of H&D will reflect on the progress (or otherwise) of nationalists across Europe, including these French elections as well as local elections in Italy whose second round was also held today, and an important regional election in Andalusia, southern Spain.

(NOTE: Some commentators give a figure of 88 rather than 89 RN Assembly members elected today. This is because of the ambiguous status of Marie-France Lorho, re-elected in a southern constituency based around the town of Orange. Technically, Mme Lorho was elected as a candidate of the League of the South, a tiny breakaway party founded in 2010 by former FN mayor Jacques Bompard. However while Bompard was affiliated with Zemmour this year, Mme Lorho is aligned with Marine Le Pen and can be counted as the 89th RN Assembly member.)

French nationalist divisions contrast with leftist unity as Le Pen’s party slips to third place

Posters for rival nationalist candidates in Montpellier

The first round of elections to the National Assembly yesterday delivered a sharp setback to the ‘centrist’ President Emmanuel Macron and modest advances for Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National. This follows the presidential election two months ago when Macron defeated Le Pen, despite the latter achieving the best nationalist result in postwar European history.

Le Pen’s Rassemblement National finished in third place with 18.7% of the first round vote. This compares to 13.2% at the previous Assembly election in 2017 but is well down on her 23.2% in the presidential election’s first round two months ago.

A feature of this Assembly election is that the far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon has managed to rally most French socialists and greens into a united slate. This leftist slate known as NUPES finished with 25.66% – less than 0.1% behind President Macron’s slate which polled 25.75%. (The newspaper Le Monde calculated the results slightly differently, showing the NUPES slate a fraction ahead of the President’s.)

It was a bad night for both the conservative Republicans and for Marine Le Pen’s nationalist rival Éric Zemmour.

The Republicans polled just 10.4%, even worse than polls had predicted: a historic defeat for the French centre-right which raises serious questions about its future viability.

An election leaflet distributed in Bedous, close to the French border with Spain, for Margaux Taillefer, one of the leaders of the Zemmour campaign’s youth wing ‘Generation Z’. The leaflet highlights Zemmour’s alliance with Marion Maréchal.

Meanwhile Zemmour’s party Reconquête which once seemed set to overtake the RN as the main party of French nationalism polled 4.2% – less than a quarter of the RN vote. The big losers from such a dismal result are not only Zemmour himself but also his ally Marion Maréchal (Marine Le Pen’s niece) who now has much work to do if she is to re-establish herself as the future leader of French nationalism. Another significant Reconquête defeat was in Maréchal’s Provençal region Vaucluse where Stanislas Rigault – 23-year-old president of Zemmour’s youth wing ‘Generation Z’ – was a distant fourth with only 10.5%.

Maréchal was Rigault’s ‘substitute candidate’ – a French system designed to avoid National Assembly by-elections. If an Assembly members dies or quits to accept executive office, the substitute takes his place. To add insult to injury for Rigault and Maréchal, Le Pen’s candidate topped the poll and will go into next week’s second round against a pro-Macron candidate.

It seems that the Zemmour faction has recruited many of the best and brightest of young French nationalist activists, but has not convinced voters. A bad situation for the movement overall.

In his own constituency east of Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, Zemmour was knocked out in the first round after polling 23.2%, a shade behind Le Pen’s RN candidate on 24.7% and a pro-Macron candidate on 28.5%. It will be a bitter pill for Zemmour to swallow, but presumably he will endorse the Le Pen candidate in next week’s run-off, and frankly he no longer has much of a negotiating position. (Unsurprisingly the other seven Reconquête votes across Zemmour’s Var département were even worse, and all of the Var constituencies will face second round run-offs between RN and pro-government candidates.)

Another high-profile Reconquête candidate was Damien Rieu, founder of the anti-immigration youth group Generation Identity, standing in France’s most south-eastern constituency which runs from Nice to the Italian border. Rieu finished fifth with only 10.7%; his RN rival Alexandra Masson topped the poll and will go into another of the second round contests between Le Pen and Macron supporters which will be a feature of the Provence, Alpine and Côte d’Azur region next Sunday.

The crushing defeat of Stanislas Rigault (above left), president of the youth wing of Zemmour’s party, in Marion Maréchal’s home region was a blow to Ms Maréchal’s long-term ambition to lead French nationalism

By contrast Marine Le Pen easily won her home constituency in northern France, which includes the town of Hénin-Beaumont, with 54% of the vote. However due to the low turnout (which meant even this vote was only 22.5% of the electorate) she faces the formality of a run-off against the left’s candidate next week.

In all but five cases there will be a second round next Sunday, as only candidates who achieve more than 50% and more than 25% of their constituency’s electorate are elected outright in the first round. One of the very few to be elected on the first round today was far-left candidate Alexis Corbière who polled 62.9% (!) in his part of Seine – St Denis, which includes the notorious multiracial suburb of Montreuil. (This is sometime called Mali’s second-largest city, as it includes so many immigrants from the former French colony.) Nationwide a total of four leftists were elected on the first round, and one of President Macron’s ‘centrists’.

Any candidate who achieves 12.5% or more of the electorate in the first round can qualify for the second: on a low turnout election such as this one, this in practice means only the top two candidates from the first round. There will only be eight ‘triangular’, three-way contests in next week’s second round, and 564 two-way contests. Of these, 278 feature Macron’s party against the left; 110 Macron’s party against Le Pen’s RN; 62 the left against RN; 29 conservatives against RN; 29 conservatives against the left; and 22 conservatives against Macron’s party.

Former education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer was one of several ‘centrist’ technocrats backed by President Macron to be knocked out in today’s first round

The first result declared – from a constituency in the Loire Valley of central France – showed the incumbent ‘centrist’ defeated after being pushed into third place. The second round run-off in this constituency next week will be between a veteran Communist (backed by the united left-green slate) and the candidate of Marine Le Pen’s RN. The ‘centrist’ vote fell from 33.3% in 2017 to 22.6% today, and the conservative candidate was a distant fourth with 12.3%.

In another Loire Valley constituency further north, another of Macron’s candidates – former education minister and typical Parisian technocrat Jean-Michel Blanquer – was ousted, creating another run-off between the left and the RN.

Many more results such as these, and France will be approaching Weimar Republic territory! Various analysts have projected that after next week’s second round Macron’s coalition will either lose its majority in the Assembly, or have a sharply reduced majority, with the main opposition now coming from the left, but with Le Pen’s RN holding something between 20 and 45 seats, compared to just eight seats won under the old FN label in 2017.

France is roughly split into four camps, each with about a quarter of the electorate. One quarter backs the President and his ‘centrist’ allies; another backs Mélenchon’s left-green alliance; another backs a nationalist (either of the Le Pen or Zemmour stripe); and the final quarter is an assortment of folk who for various reasons do not fit into any of the above (including dissident leftists, regionalists, and various protest votes). These fringe candidates include those who (as in the UK) persist in the strange belief that there is some electoral mileage in wild conspiracy theories about the CoVID pandemic and rhetoric about ‘freedom’. Such candidates (as in the UK) achieved little more than joke votes even when they were minor celebrities: for example ‘radical’ singer-songwriter and anti-vaccination campaigner Francis Lalanne was in eighth place with 2.2% in the Charente region of south-western France.

Former President François Hollande (above right with Benjamin Netanyahu) denounced the left-green alliance for ‘anti-semitism’ and backed his own slate of ‘centre-left’, pro-Israel socialists, all of whom were heavily defeated.

Perhaps the worst humiliation was suffered by the rump of the once-powerful French Socialist Party that refused to go into Mélenchon’s left-green alliance. These sad remnants of the 1990s centre-left were endorsed by former President François Hollande, who like his contemporary Tony Blair has still not grasped that their project of business-friendly, pro-immigration, pro-New World Order social democracy has been rejected by the working-class voters they despise and by most of the younger, educated generation they once courted. Every single one of these ‘moderate’ socialists was decisively defeated in yesterday’s first round.

Bear in mind that around half of the electorate did not vote at all in the first round, despite the apparently wide ideological choice offered!

Unlike the UK, France has eleven constituencies for French citizens living abroad. The third of these is made up predominantly of French citizens living in the UK (though also including far smaller numbers living in the Baltic States, Scandinavia, Iceland and Greenland). This constituency will face a run-off between the pro-Macron candidate who polled 38.5% and the leftist alliance candidate (in this case a green) who polled 31.5%.

Unsurprisingly among this group of business folk and academics, Le Pen’s RN polled very badly indeed – only 1.7% – and was well-beaten even by Zemmour’s candidate who managed 3.5%. Pretty much the only demographics where Zemmour’s party is stronger than the RN are among very affluent nationalists and young intellectual nationalists. For example in the socially exclusive 7th arrondissement of Paris, Zemmour’s candidate polled 8.7% and Le Pen’s candidate only 3.2%.

The unfortunate situation for the French right is that such unrepresentative elite folk are not by themselves a basis for winning an election, but it’s difficult to build an effective movement without an elite cadre.

It will be up to the bitterly divided RN and Reconquête leaders to resolve this problem quickly.

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