The first round of the French presidential elections took place on Sunday. It was essentially a five-way race between the Left Front’s (communist) Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Socialist Party’s (leftist) François Hollande, the Democratic Movement’s (centrist) François Bayrou, the Union for a Popular Movement’s (center-right) Nicolas Sarkozy, and the National Front’s (nationalist) Marine Le Pen. Issues like the sluggish and inactive economy, the brutal Muslim serial killer Mohammad Merah, and the French role in financing European bailouts helped to center the campaign on the economy, immigration, and France’s relationship with the EU.
The results showed the socialist challenger Hollande coming in first with 28% of the vote, beating out incumbent President Sarkozy, who collected 27% of the vote; these two will advance to the second round of voting in a few weeks, when Hollande is expected to beat Sarkozy. Mélenchon came in fourth with 11%, and Bayrou came in fifth with 9%. The big story was Le Pen’s obtaining 18% of the vote. Not only was this a dramatic rebound from the National Front’s 10% in 2007, but it was also 2% higher than the National Front’s previous best under Marine’s father in 2002.
While it may be somewhat disappointing that Le Pen failed to advance into the second round, it may actually turn out better this way. First of all, there was no way that Le Pen was winning the presidency. In 2002, when her father advanced to the second round against the center-right (and convicted crook) Jacques Chirac, every single other party – from communist to “respectable conservative” – rallied behind Chirac; and after thoroughly beating the elder Le Pen with 82% of the vote, he proceeded to be the least popular president in modern French history. Secondly, instead of being able to drift to the left in a Sarkozy/Le Pen second round, Sarkozy’s only hope is to gain the support of Le Pen’s voters, which means he has to take on euroskeptic, anti-immigration, and nationalistic positions. Sarkozy, who is of Hungarian and Jewish descent, has no real loyalty to the people of France and has systematically failed to implement such policies during his first term as French President. He will therefore be lying through his teeth and will not mean any of it; but it could force him to actually take some action should he be reelected and, more importantly, win or lose, it will legitimize Le Pen and the National Front’s talking points and positions on the French national stage.
While some of you may not feel like 18% is a lot, let me remind you that in America, nationalist political parties (such as they are) do not even get 1% of the vote. The closest we have is a colorblind libertarian polling at 15% of the national Republican vote. Secondly, only about 80% of the French population is what could be termed ethnic French, Gallic/Latin/Germanic, Breton, Alsatian, Norman, etc., with another 10% being some other European ethnicity (mostly Italian), and about 9% non-white (mostly North African Muslims and Caribbean/African blacks). If we reasonably assume that the vast majority of Le Pen’s support came from ethnic French voters, then nearly one in four Frenchmen voted for the National Front. This is quite good, considering that the mainstream media did their usual “she’s an evil racist/Nazi/white supremacist” full-court press against her. The French Parliamentary elections are on June 10, and the National Front is set up to do well in them. Let us hope that this is the beginning of the French Nationalist backlash against the cultural Marxism that has infected France and the West.