Legislative elections in France: the right is still gaining ground in Europe

Marine Le Pen extreme right-wing figure in France Foto : Rémi Noyon Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

(Elsa Woeffler) – The “Rassemblement National”, a far-right party led by Marine Le Pen, came in third in the first round of the parliamentary election last Sunday, between the presidential majority party and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s NUPES. The French far-right has accumulated 7 points more as compared to the elections of 2017. A dazzling increase, considering the high amount of abstentions which occured at the first round of these French legislative elections. Indeed, 52.5% of the French did not go to vote, making this score the highest under the Fifth Republic. The “Rassemblement National” collected 18.68% of the votes cast, which is two million more votes than in 2017 for this first round. A rise in the esteem of the French, which is similar to the affection for the extreme right in other European countries. 

This irresistible rise of the extreme right can be seen everywhere in Europe. Indeed, the various crises that Europe is going through, such as the coronavirus, the war in Ukraine and inflation, are about to strengthen the nationalisms of European countries. This is the observation of the 2019 European elections, for example, where European extremists have established their positions at the top of the table. In 2019, only Portugal, Ireland and Romania, as well as Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg, did not present any far-right parties. Those parties scored between 30 and 50% in Italy, Poland and Hungary in the European elections. France is just behind. Moreover, as a result of this rise in power, right-wing extremists are very critical of the European Union, reinforcing the nationalism that reigns in Europe. A vision of the world through the people is a vision that Europe cannot oppose, otherwise, the EU risks an even more striking rejection.

The failure of the European Union, weakened by its crises, is giving way to authoritarian regimes approved by a part of the population, as we are seeing in Hungary, with the governance of Viktor Orban. This could be fatal for the European Union. The emergence of such parties in founding countries such as France, with the Rassemblement National, does not augur well.

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