Marine Le Pen addresses supporters (Image source)
The gap between politicians' and voters' perceptions continues to widen in France (and also in the UK, Sweden, Austria, The Netherlands and Germany it seems). News of opinion polling samples for the regional elections in France, which are due to be held next weekend shows Marine Le Pen and her Front National (FN) party are surfing a wave of popular support in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. Latest opinion poll results show the FN is looks set to govern at least two, and possibly all three of the French regions holding elections next week.
Now the overwhelming favourite to capture north-western France and the Marseille-Nice regions, Mme Le Pen's party is also surging in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region of eastern France. Elections are set for the next two weekends, and according to polls published yesterday FN leads with momentum in all three. Such is the backing for the party, analysts say it might gain as many votes as its conservative and centrist rivals combined.
The FN has never won a regional election outright before before and next weeks votes are the first political test for French President Francois Hollande since the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. With the country reeling from that violence and grappling with border controls, FN candidates are showing “a significant increase” in support across the country, BVA polling organisation said, although it should be noted that due to his statesmanlike handling of the crisis and France's joining the Russian campaign against ISIS in Syria, President Hollande's personal popularity has increased sharply.
Though her opponents try and define her message as “racist” and “xenophobic” when she says: “The absolute rejection of Islamic fundamentalism must be proclaimed loudly and clearly”, voters are increasingly responding positively to Le Pen's message.
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