“La France Aux Français”

Joe Mulhall - 20 04 17

With just three days until the first round of the Presidential elections in France Marine Le Pen has returned to hardline far-right messages. At a rally in Marseille she ramped up the rhetoric declaring:

“I want to launch a message of national insurrection, an insurrection of the undefeated, to give France back to her people,” as the 6000-strong crowd chanted “On est chez nous!” (This is our home!).

While police clashed with anti-fascists outside the venue, Le Pen whipped up the crowd claiming that her rival candidates were happy to let “immigrants turn France into a gigantic squat” and that “A multicultural society is a multi-conflict society.”

“Are we going to be able to live as French for much longer when entire neighborhoods are taken over by foreigners?” she asked.

It remains to be seen whether this return to a harder far right agenda will do enough to get her over the line in what promises to be a very tight election. Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far right Le Pen remain favorites to proceed to the second round of the presidential election. However, conservative François Fillon, whose own rhetoric around immigration has sometimes echoed that of the FN, and the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mèlenchon, have both seen late surges in the polls making the election an unpredictable one.

While a strong showing from Le Pen would be deeply worrying, it remains likely that she would be defeated in the second round should she make it that far.


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