France’s presidential election: A populist front

Channel: 
French voters go to the polls on Sunday for the first round of the country’s presidential election. We go to Marine Le Pen’s heartlands to examine why this far-right, anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic candidate has gained such favour Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 France is about to elect a new president and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far right Front National seems likely to make it into the decisive second round, between two candidates on May 7th. Her anti-EU, anti-immigrant, and anti-globalisation rhetoric has won support from disgruntled voters on both the left and right. A Le Pen victory would have far-reaching consequences for France and for Europe. It's small towns like this one, Hayange, in eastern France where the Front National has increased its support. This was socialist party heartland but it has lost supporters as local mines and factories have closed in recent years. In the 2015 regional elections, the Front National won 45% of votes here, and the town now has a Front National mayor. The local Front National supporters are mostly middle aged and white, and today they're travelling to the nearby city of Metz to a Marine Le Pen campaign rally. It's a fear of job losses and a backlash against immigration that have brought many here today and Ms Le Pen exploits this sentiment with uncanny skill. Mr Le Pen wants to hold a referendum on France's membership of the EU, to abandon the euro, and bring back the Franc. It's this sense of trying to recreate a more protectionist France that is popular amongst her supporters. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
Date: 
2017-04-21 02:28:15
Subject Area: 

Rating

0
Your rating: None
0
No votes yet

Share

Share