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Ear to the Ground

France: Socialist Victory Overshadowed by ‘Big Healthy Blonde Girl’

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Posted on Apr 22, 2012
Photo by (CC-BY)

Until his daughter, Marine, captured 19 percent of the vote in France’s first round of presidential elections Sunday, Jean Marie Le Pen was the country’s most politically successful right-wing crazy. In a way he saw this coming, promoting his daughter, as The Guardian recalls, as a “big healthy blonde girl ... an ideal physical specimen.”

(Marine’s father won 16 percent in 2002.)

Socialist Francois Hollande was the top vote-getter in Sunday’s election, beating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by roughly 28 to 26 percent. The next round will be held May 6, and that’s where it gets interesting. Although the Communist candidate, who won about 12 percent, rolled his eyes and endorsed Hollande, Le Pen refuses to recognize Sarkozy. As the leader of the National Front, Le Pen is one of those European xenophobes who campaigns mostly against immigrants. Perhaps she objects to Sarkozy’s Hungarian-Greek-Jewish ancestry. Or maybe it’s that Italian wife. In any event, she is refusing to yield to the center-right, as the BBC quotes:

After the vote, Ms Le Pen told jubilant supporters that the FN’s result was “only the start” and that the party was now “the only opposition” to the left.

Polls now suggest Hollande will win, but, as The Guardian observes, “French opinion polls have a record of underestimating support for the far right.” It’s not that Le Pen will win. It’s that with 80 percent turnout, one in five voters chose the extremist.  —PZS

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By Michael, April 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marine’s father actually won almost 17% in 2002 (16.86). Combined with   2.34 for Bruno Mégret of the far-right Mouvement national républicain (which split from the Front National), the total percentage of votes is similar to this year.

In addition to the protest element referred to above, it is interesting to note that the work of French political scientist Nonna Mayer demonstrated that almost half of the support for Le Pen in 2002 came from former communists. At times protectionism and xenophobia have mixed in strange ways.

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By berniem, April 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Obviously she was misnamed. More appropriately she should have been christened Aryan-a!

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Like here “The Pen” (Le Pen) is a reflection of a certain percentage of Frances population. I find it ironic that a country that was and still is (Libya) knee deep in taking over the natural resources of the countries (colonialism)  who produce those dirty little “Brown” immigrants should bitch so much when they decide to leave their hollowed out countries and come to the place where most if not all their wealth has been “extracted” to.

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By heterochromatic, April 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

you those votes for LePen are pretty unhealthy any way you look at it.

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By Minden, April 23, 2012 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All,

The scary part is still there 19%...that fear and hatred will not simply go away.  Someone must change it, defuse it and heal that divide.

Otherwise Marine will haunt the system like a thug,
looking to hurt not lead.  Europe is, as Mr Hedges indicates in trouble and we are too.

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By Alastair, April 23, 2012 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

I posted this over on Chris Hedges column but it is worth repeating here:

France runs a two-stage voting process and it was inconceivable that anyone would win the first round outright. Therefore, for people protesting against both the main parties (Sarkozy’s & Hollande’s), a vote for Marine Le Pen could be done while posing no risk that she would actually get in.

The Polls I have seen say that of people that would vote Marine Le Pen (Far right) in the first round:
- 48% will vote Sarkozy in the second round.
- 24% will vote Hollande in the second round.

Socialists voting for Front National! Hardly, real Front National material.

However, of people who voted Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Far left) in the first round, 85% will vote Hollande in the second round. Eva Joly (Green) has already said her followers should also vote Hollande.

You should also note that Marine Le Pen got only 6.5% of the vote in the Paris region (versus 17.9% overall).

Check out - http://www.google.com/elections/ed/fr/results. It is useful for seeing the results by region.

I am 100% convinced (as are the pollsters and most everyone I have spoken to, regardless of their allegiance) that Hollande will win the second round.

I am only hopeful in that he does seem to understand that France must stop sucking up to the USA and supporting their hegemony. Will he act on it? Will it be enough? Frankly, I expect to see people on the street here too!

Hope this helps
Alastair

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