France’s Political Class Blind to PS votes going to FN
The breaking of France’s presidential glass ceiling by Marine Le Pen promises to be more shattering than any fall-out connected with the now broken presidential hopes of Hillary Clinton.
This is because the fall-out will be a compound one blended from the glass ceiling effect and the upset triumph of President Donald Trump.
The French political class which is far more pervasive than anything their English-speaking counterparts can put forward is only just realising the truth that has been hiding in plain sight.
It is that Marine Le Pen and her Front National Party have a very good chance of winning the pending presidential general election.
As with their English-speaking counterparts the French political classes only in the last few weeks have understood that she is short circuiting the sectors that customarily act as middlemen between politicians and voters.
We are talking here of once-admired categories such as academics, think tank intellectuals, and of course journalists.
Marine Le Pen channeled Donald Trump before Donald Trump started running for President.
The most recent milestone on her own presidential route is the embarrassing back tracking of academics, think tankers, and journalists on the outcome of the primary within the Republican Party for its presidential candidate.
France’s commentators, much more esteemed than their counterparts in the English-speaking zone, had stated that the winner would be the more liberal of the two conservative party front-runners, Alain Juppe.
In the event the party plumped for the more right-leaning Francois Fillon.
As a result of this France’s biggest circulation daily Le Parisien did something that its English-speaking zone counterparts have still signally failed to do.
This was to acknowledge that its employees’ wishes manifested as fact and that opinion now had to be separated from news.
It banned from its pages all tendentious reporting and, more importantly still, opinion polls.
Even so, the French intellectual class, traditionally cherished in a way that its English-zone counterpart is decidedly not now radiates a fresh formula.
This holds that, yes, Marine Le Pen may perhaps be head-to-head with Francois Fillon in the first stage of the presidential elections.
But that she will be washed out in the second stage or run-off procedure in which French voters are required to unambiguously list their preference.
As with their US and British counterparts the commentariat cannot bring itself to ask itself from which sectors Marine Le Pen will draw her votes in this head-to-head or sudden-death challenge.
These votes are increasingly being seen as being drawn from the current ruling party the Socialist Party which has become so unpopular that its chances of regaining the Elysee are not even being considered.
Marine Le Pen has promised to close the book on political correctness and all that it contains. This means globalisation (think EU) and multi-culturalism (think the religiously affiliated version.)
This is music to the ears of provincial France where local products are being swamped by lower-cost competition from the rest of the EU.
She would seek détente with Russia which since the US and EU led embargo has ceased to take France’s surplus farm output.
She will stem the tide of immigrants who are viewed by this same sector (think “deplorables”) as lowering wage rates and putting pressure on accommodation and social services.
Meanwhile Marine Le Pen while keep the emphasis on France’s imperial world-power yearnings, notably in Oceania, where she has long had a soft spot for New Caledonia.