The Queen beats all kings


Albert Gea / Reuters

The extreme right has been coming to this moment for a very long time. One could say, for generations. It started with Le Pen’s father, but the maximum that he managed — to reach the second round of the presidential election. This is already a lot, many people do not even get to this point. Jean-Marie Le Pen was a sharp politician, but he did not get people’s love. He spent a lot of time in court for every phrase in the press, which is understandable. The label «fascist» was cemented to him, and nothing could be done with it.

Daughter Marine took a different path, even if it cost the family a rift. Even the name «National Front» had to be sacrificed. She restructured, and, as it turned out, correctly, the entire policy of the party, and so that society itself went to meet them. And now they have met.

The topic of migrants is no longer the main focus of their rhetoric. Now it is the minimum program of anyone, even communists, so you can’t rise on migrants. Like everywhere else in Europe, the French National Rally has focused on the economy and social problems. That is, like everywhere else, not only extreme right-wing slogans have been rewired, but also meanings.

Let’s say, Le Pen believes, that the improvement of the French people’s living standards will come if we organize Franzit — to leave the EU and stop feeding Brussels bureaucrats. Exactly the same slogans were proposed by Brexit supporters in Britain. How did it end? We are still watching with interest.

But people believe her! People really believe that the boring traditional right-leftists won’t solve anything, and these people seem to be talking business. And the popularity of the party and Marine personally is gaining points.

Well, to take just the latest example. The new immigration law passed at the end of the year. But the National Rally didn’t even initiate it, it was the Republicans’ idea! They just sat in the hall and until the last moment it was not clear whether they would vote or not, and they have 88 mandates, the largest parliamentary faction. Finally, who benefited the most from the new law? Here are the results of an OpinionWay poll.

«Marine Le Pen — 43 percent. Republican leader Eric Ciotti — 13 percent. Emmanuel Macron — 11 percent».

Somehow this reminds me of the Chinese parable of the Wise Monkey. While two tigers are fighting over a banana, she watches the battle from a tree, and then, when they fall down in exhaustion, comes down and takes the banana.

Another example. Marin unexpectedly decided to participate in a march against anti-Tsemitism after Hamas invaded Israel. This was something no one could have imagined at all, remembering her father’s famous remarks about the ovens of the Nazi camps. For this November day alone, Le Pen has firmly occupied the second step of the pedestal of the most popular politicians in France. On the first is former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, from whom she is 4 points behind, but these are intermediate polls, albeit demonstrative.

«In social networks for November alone, the growth of positive assessments of the activities of Marine Le Pen — 65 percent. The increase in confidence in the fulfillment of promises made by her — 140 percent», note the pollsters Mascaret Grange and Yves Sancy, quoted everywhere.

European Parliament elections are coming up this year, as early as June. Le Pen made the central theme of her campaign not migrants, but the purchasing power of citizens. As a result, however, without surprises, her party is leading in the race. And this will be the «equator», the middle of Macron’s mandate. If the National Rally wins a landslide victory, he and his party will be backed into a corner.

Le Pen’s party could become the first French political entity to make it into the European Parliament, if not more. They now take 30 percent of the vote, the president’s majority party is 12 points short, and that’s not even a fight anymore. Patrick Buisson, a political scientist who was brought in as a consultant to Sarkozy’s campaign back in 2007, puts it this way: «Marine Le Pen not only has every chance of winning the European elections, it’s practically in her pocket. Events are developing in such a way that she will be able to create and even lead a rather powerful Eurogroup of extreme right-wing parties in the European Parliament».

Now about the presidential elections. They are still 3 years away, but it only seems so far away. No one has even been nominated there yet, but we have our Tarot cards, coffee grounds, rat’s feet and social polls. Let’s get into it.

I have nothing to tell you about the left flank of French political life. On the right so far figure, as already mentioned, former Prime Minister Philippe, new Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. The battle is likely to unfold among them, at least as seen from 2024.

The queen beats all kings. Against each, she crosses the 30 percent threshold in the first round, leaving them behind the symbolic threshold of «thirty». This threshold is so comfortable that one can dream of winning the second round. And 40 percent is considered an almost guaranteed victory in the second. But again, who will Marin fight against? Right now, her biggest victory in the first round is 36.

There is one more detail — the young, successful, official leader of the party, Jordan Bardella. He has perfectly mastered his new position — he gives interviews, appears at parties, gives the impression of a very competent young politician and even at one point surpassed Marine in the polls, who put him there.

It is clear that there is a certain agreement between them, which is part of Marine Le Pen’s strategy for the 2027 presidential elections. So the scheme is roughly clear: you move the party forward with your young energy, and then I appear. And I beat everybody.