Marine Le Pen gains strength in the last part of the campaign


The wallpaper remains the same, but the shapes have changed. Marine Le Pen smiles more often in interviews. He talks about the purebred cats he breeds on his property in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris. He is emotional when asked about his nephew, Marion Marshall, who has decided to support another far-right candidate, Eric Zemour. For this election, the president of the National Association (AN) seems to have learned the lessons of the 2017 defeat, he’s emptied his rivals and chose a less aggressive message, while maintaining a virtually unchanged ultra-right program. .

And the dynamics of the end of the campaign as the first round approaches this week seem to prove him right: in recent weeks he has consolidated into second place, five points above his main rival, to qualify for the position that allows him. To advance to the second round, Jean-Luc Melenchon, according to Ipsos’ latest barometer. Another news: for the first time Le Pen would be the candidate who would achieve the best result in the second round in a hypothetical duel with Emmanuel Macron from 45% to 47% of the voting targets. While none of the polls name him a winner, in all of them he downplays the current president. Five years ago, polls gave him ten points less in the same section of the campaign.

If these results are confirmed, it will be a new step in the “demonization” strategy (in French DiabolizationLepenista’s party, started in 2011, when it took control of the National Front (which became a national group in 2018). Eric Zemur played a fundamental role in this last phase. Extraterrestrial rhetoric – against even more aggressive Islam and immigration – along with the toughening of moderate right-wing rhetoric, has helped normalize Le Pen’s image in front of a section of the electorate. “The transformation of the media landscape also contributes to this normalization,” summed up the analysis conducted a few days ago by researchers at the Jean-Jores Foundation. “The attack led by Vincent Bolore, with the acquisition of CNews and Europe 1, provided a platform for conservative and / or radical identity commentators,” he said.

In addition, if Zemor’s candidacy could partially split the far-right votes, he also absorbed a large number of voters from the Golist right: according to the Ipsos Barometer, in 2017, 14% of Filon voters will now vote for Zemur. After a campaign that clearly went from less to more, today’s polls showed Valerie Pecres with less than 10% of the vote, which was done by François Fillon in 2017, which was based on multiple allegations of corruption.

Zemor’s candidacy also means Le Pen has a reserve of votes for the second round. According to Ipsos, eight out of ten former voter voters Figaro They will go to Le Pen. These votes, along with the lack of mobilization of left-wing voters (this will be the second time there is no progressive candidate among the finalists) are elements that he should surprise and defeat Macron at the last minute.

The invasion of Ukraine could have been a blow to his campaign, given Le Pen’s ties to Vladimir Putin. His party is still paying a 9.4 million euro loan from a Russian bank and was forced to hand out an election brochure containing a photo of Le Pen holding Putin in his travels in 2017. But again, Zemur acted as an involuntary ally. Shortly after the attack, Marine Le Pen reacted quickly, opting for a short sentence (still blaming NATO) and has since maintained a low profile on the issue. Meanwhile, Zemur – although he also condemned the aggression – criticized the actions of the West and the reception of Ukrainian refugees.

One of Le Pen’s strategies to avoid talking about Russia was to strengthen the discourse about its purchasing power. Since the end of last year, he has been campaigning for workers, mostly to attract the people with the lowest wages. In addition to “returning France to the French,” he also promises to “return the money to the French.” To do this, it plans to reduce VAT from 20% to 5.5% on gas, fuel and electricity, a measure worth 12,000 million euros a year. From liberalism, which opposed almost any taxation, to the time of Jean-Marie Le Pen, this decade has shifted to measures aimed at taxing “financial wealth” and policies in favor of purchasing power, albeit without undue detail.

“Everyone on Melenchon’s right today is considered an extreme right-winger,” he said angrily at France Info microphones a few months ago. “I can not stand this extreme right-wing accusation. It’s beyond me.” Despite this protest, the truth is that the essence of his program remains largely unchanged unlike the years of the National Front. He reiterated several times that his first event, if he becomes president, would be to submit to a referendum a bill that the party has already prepared on immigration and identity.

“National advantage” continues to be a cornerstone of the project: to establish legal discrimination between citizens and foreigners in terms of employment, public administration, social housing or access to assistance. Contrary to international commitments signed by France, it proposes a 75% restriction on asylum-related arrivals, as well as the denial of naturalization and citizenship by the marriage of children of foreign parents born in France.

The National Association for Social Affairs announced the death penalty in 2017 from its program, which Le Pen has always favored (“unless the French restore it through a referendum on a popular initiative,” he explains). The candidate has repeatedly condemned the generalization of what he considers “abortions for convenience” and asked that voluntary termination of pregnancy be terminated as part of interventions at the cost of which are reimbursed by the social security system.

He has repeatedly argued that the rights of homosexuals “are not respected in the illegal areas of France”, which means popular neighborhoods with a Muslim majority. However, his party advocates the abolition of subsidies for associations “very focused on coexistence and discrimination” aimed at NGOs working to raise awareness of gender equality, combat racism and homophobia, or assist immigrants.

In the international arena, it seems that Marine Le Pen has refused to leave the EU and leave the euro, which he was still advocating in 2017. However, he intends to “renegotiate many EU directives or even the treaty itself.” Use measures such as restricting access to social rights for European citizens. All this will automatically turn into a confrontation with Brussels and the establishment of proceedings such as the proceedings against Poland and Hungary. Le Pen, who is very critical of the Paris-Berlin axis, is much closer to Victor Orban, who received him in Budapest in October 2021 and whom he met again in Madrid last January.

Many remain unresolved in two election appointments – this week and April 24 – marking the election of the French president, ending with levels of restraint from the Republican front against the far right. If they make it to the second round, the campaign between the two votes will be fundamental: in 2017, Marine Le Pen lost six points and remained at 33.9% after a very critical performance in a televised debate. Support for Zemor and Marion Marechal should also end, as part of a broader negotiation to define the organization of their parties for the future. At the moment, Zemor is already spreading his hand: “Marine and I are not angry, we are just rivals.”

Source: El Diario


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