Meanwhile, In France… “Far-Right” FN Party Makes Electoral Gains.

 

The “far-right” and anti-Euro National Front (FN) party has stunned the french political scene with resounding electoral victories, currently on track to win a record 4 towns in ongoing local elections. The FN, known for it’s strict anti-immigration views, has seen climbing popularity in recent years. Socialists and mainstream Conservatives typically dominate french elections; but anger over Socialist President Francois Hollande’s less-than-stellar presidency and dissatisfaction with mainstream conservative alternatives to french social and economic issues have led numerous voters to seek answers from other parties, where the FN awaits with open arms. In particular, the FN has taken advantage of negative sentiment generated by large amounts of immigration from Algeria and other Islamic nations.

As Reuters reports:

France’s anti-immigrant National Front was on track to win at least four towns in local elections, exit polls showed on Sunday, beating its previous record amid public dissatisfaction with President Francois Hollande’s Socialists.

Candidates backed by the National Front (FN) party looked set to secure the southern towns of Beziers and Frejus, the exit polls and partial tallies showed. It was also likely to win the eastern town of Hayange, the outgoing Socialist mayor there said.

Final turnout last Sunday was 63.5 percent – a record low for local elections in a country with a strong attachment to its mayors, who wield considerable power.

The main winner has thus far been the centre-right UMP conservative party, with the Socialists clearly losing ground. The FN, while still not nearly as popular as the Socialists or Conservatives, have had their greatest showing ever. France’s record joblessness, at nearly 12%, likely played no small role in swaying the minds of voters.

The turnout was low. It seems french voters are becoming disenfranchised with the mainstream political choices. This makes a ripe atmosphere for fringe parties like the FN to make large gains.

I call the FN “far-right” in quotes because the party is actually left-wing, economically: they support the continuation and expansion of the French welfare state alongside high taxation and a strict regulatory atmopshere. However, they oppose immigration. Being anti-immigration has given them the label “far-right”, which will confuse people when they see the FN enacting left-wing policies. This is why the terms “left-wing” and “right-wing” are stupid. I discuss that here.

 

 

 

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