Le Pen Lost the Battle in French National Elections
But Can She Still Win the War?
Marine Le Pen
Remarks from Concession Speech
"The French people have chosen a patriotic and republican alliance as the first force of opposition.
The political groups who have taken the responsibility to elect Mr Macron have been discredited.
The first round showed a breakdown in French politics with the elimination of the old parties.
The second round created a realignment of politics split between patriots and globalists. This choice between patriots and globalists will be presented to the French people in the parliamentary elections.
I will be at the head of this fight to gather together all of those who choose France first.
The Front National must renew itself to live up to this historic opportunity and expectations of the French people.
I plan to begin the transformation of our movement to create a new political force.
I am calling all patriots to join and participate in the decisive political battle that begins tonight.
More than ever in the coming months France will need you. Long live the Republic, Long live France."
May 7, 2017
Front National Plans
Overhaul After Defeat But
Faces Internal Resistance
May 8 - Plans to rename and “profoundly transform” the Front National after Marine Le Pen’s defeat by Emmanuel Macron in France’s presidential runoff will meet resistance and could expose a potentially damaging divide in the far-right party, members and analysts have said.
Marion-Marechal Le Pen Quits
May 8 - Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of Marine Le Pen who was widely tipped to succeed her as leader of the Front National, is reportedly stepping down from politics.
Florian Philippot, National
Front Political Strategist
Where Does the National Front
Go From Here?
AWO Analysis - May 2017
The populist tidal wave that brought Donald Trump to power and Brexit to victory finally receded in France on May 7. Marine Le Pen and her National Front legions washed ashore--the victims of Emanuel Macron's 66 to 34 percent landslide win in the presidential elections.
Gone are visions of white nationalist columns marching across the continent, trampling the European Union, open borders and immigrants under foot. Liberal democracy and her faithful sidekick, globalization are the beneficiaries of a temporary reprieve.
For the moment, the contagion of ethnocentric right wing populism has been blunted, but at what costs? The political shakeup that rocked France is as profound as any in Europe in recent memory.
That France's most important election in decades was held under emergency law, foreshadowed the political carnage soon to be visited on its body politic.
The political avalanche started at the top and rolled downhill. Socialist President Francois Holland's hopes for re-election disintegrated under a barrage of sensational terrorist attacks and a stagnant economy. He didn't bother to seek re-election.
Instead, his party's nominee, Benoît Hamon, was sacrificed on the alter, winning just seven percent of the vote. The remains of the Socialist Party's rotting corpse swung behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon's alt-left "La France Insoumise" (Unsubmissive France) movement-a political startup founded in 2016. .
Inspired by the Spanish party Podemos and Bernie Sanders 2016 insurgent run in the Democratic Party presidential primaries, Melenchon captured 19.5% of the first round vote.
Neither could The Republicans escape the wrath of the anti-establishment revolt. Their conservative candidate Francois Fillion won 19% of the electorate, and failed to get into the second round.
Having knocked France's two major party's out of the second round of the presidential elections for the first time in 50 years, the populist revolt swept the youngest president in French history into office.
Indeed, France's new president, Emanuel Macron's path to the Élysée started with the creation of a new liberal-centrist coalition "En Marche" in April 2016. It was a coalition in search of party status and ballot access.
Macron, a former Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, won 24 percent of the vote in the five candidate first round race. But in the head-to-head runoff with Le Pen his vote share increased 41 percent, revealing the depth and desperation driving the Stop Le Pen juggernaut.
To his credit, Macron understands that despite his large margin of victory, he now leads a country with no consensus political center or party commanding a mandate.
Fashioning himself as the radical exponent of pragmatic centrism, Macron has moved quickly to smash the left-right divide. He had no choice. He appointed conservative Edouard Phillips (LR) as Prime Minister and Bruno LeMaire also of the (LR) as Economy and Finance Minister.
From the Socialist Party, Macron tapped Gerald Collomb, the Mayor of Lyon as Interior Minister and Jean-Yves as Foreign Minister. From the Centrist Modem Party he made Francois Bayrou Justice Minister and appointed Nicolas Hulat, an environmental activist to serve as Ecology Minister. The Armed Forces Minister post went to Centrist, Sylvie Goulard.
Macron's high wire act to balance a coalition of competing forces with very different agendas is fraught with danger. With legislative elections to the 577 member National Assembly coming on June 11 and 18, his coalition partners will be competing against each other to strengthen their positions inside the coalition.
Standing outside Macron's coalition is Marine Le Pen and the National Front. Despite the fact that Le Pen had hoped for a stronger showing than 34%,her optimism about the National Front's is not without merit.
Since taking over NF from her father, Marine Le Pen has repositioned the party. From the edge of the far right when the party was founded in 1972 as a coalition of splinter groups, Gaullists, Algerian War Veterans and monarchists, the May 7 election solidified NF's move from the margins to the political mainstream.
Their standing as the primary opposition party can be further solidified in the June legislative elections. With the breakup of National Front's alliance with Debout-la-France, the party is free to run candidates for all 577 legislative seats.
Her post- election speech and assessment of NF's potential to emerge as a more potent political force was essentially correct, The Socialist Party and Debout-la-France, were virtually destroyed. The Republicans also took a big hit, and important elements of the party are disenchanted with its
leaders 'decision to join Macron's governing coalition.
More important from Le Pen's perspective, the election crystalized the political divisions into two distinct camps; the patriots versus the globalists. With all the other parties clamoring for positions in Macron's grand coalition, Le Pen and the NF have a clear field to expand as the true alternative to Macron's agenda.
Le Pen addressed the challenge head on. "The National Front" she said "must renew itself to live up to this historic opportunity and expectations of the French people. I plan to begin the transformation of our movement to create a new political force."
That transformation begins with Le Pen coming to grips with her own shortcomings and those of the National Front. Within the National Front there is dissatisfaction with Le Pen's candidacy. Her debate performance against Macron was a disaster. Neither was Le Pen a dynamic campaigner on the stump.
Those deficiencies can be remedied in the future with new leaders emerging within the National Front's ranks. Marion-Marechal, Le Pen's popular niece and legislator was being groomed for the role. It won't happen. She quit the day after the elections.
However, it was Le Pen's positions during the campaign that prevented the party from making a stronger showing.
Florian Phillopot, a National Front political strategist, said one of the first steps to renew the party is to change it's name. Beyond a cosmetic facelift, Le Pen came under fire for her position that France should jettison the Euro and return to the franc. Dumping the Euro currency was popular with the National Front's base. However, a large majority of French citizens preferred to keep the euro. After jobs, keeping the euro was the second most important election issue.Furthermore, unlike Brexit, French attachment to the European Union remains strong; after all the EU was ostensibly a French innovation.
Le Pen tried to soften her position on the Euro between the first and second rounds of voting, but critics inside the party say it was too little-too late.
The same can be said of Le Pen's push on France exiting the European Union. The French simply were not prepared to abandon what they perceived s the twin pillars of stability: globalization and its institutional manifestation; the European Union.
If Le Pen did not misread the French electorate, the question is whether Le Pen is playing the long game.
In truth, France's ability to breakout of its sluggish economy, is more difficult without control of its own currency. Within the EU, Germany is the most decisive and impactful force affecting European monetary policy.
France also remains highly vulnerable to another global financial crisis like 2008 that pummeled the EU and its economy. That economic exposure is even greater if the bailout of Club Med countries like Greece and Cypress goes south.
Furthermore, there are significant structural barriers to turning France's economy north. Immigration, especially from the Middle East is a hot button issue fueled by terrorist attacks that have traumatized the nation. But the EU Posted Workers Directive allowing the free movement of labor has resulted in workers from European countries like Poland and others to take lower and more skilled jobs.
Le Pen has also pointed out that France has become a nation of "researchers and engineers." The French state, Le Pen says is unable to protect France's big industrial companies from competitors--all the more reason to break with the EU and globalist cathedral.
For all these reasons Le Pen appears to be playing the long game, waiting for the crisis that could collapse the establishment. She could be right. Time may be on the side of Le Pen and the National Front.
Thought Leadership Center
Marine Le Pen
May 7, Election Night
Macron Consolidates Power in French National Assembly Elections
Macron's Coalition 350 Seats
Out of 577 Seats 60.6%
Macron Was Underestimated By Many and Le Pen Proved to Be Incompetent
Alain de Benoist shares his thoughts about Emmanuel Macron following the French election.
Posted on Altright.com
Breizh-info.com: What do you think of the government’s composition? Do you see, as I said recently in an open forum, a stroke of genius by Emmanuel Macron, in order to kill the right, break the FN, and only end up with a strong extreme left opposition in the streets against him?
Alain de Benoist: One expected a government of “start-uppers,” reflecting a post-political conception of public life. Yet, that has not been the case. Your analysis is not wrong, but one must add that Macron is only exploiting a situation he didn’t create to his advantage.
Besides his “youthful” optimism, his success is explained by the conjunction of two factors: the general desire to see the old political class “disappear” and the fact that for 75% of French people, the notions of right and left “no longer mean very much.” (Cevipof poll, March 2017).
In fact, Emmanuel Macron pursued a very simple objective: break, drain, reduce, or cause the disappearance of anything still found in the political space separating la République en marche from la France insoumise on one hand and from the Front National on the other. A few years ago we saw a new tri-partition FN-UMP-PS replace the old French bi-partition.
This new tri-partition was superseded on the night of the first round of the presidential election by a quadripartite form: FN – Républicains – France insoumise – En marche! By seeking to attract the “right” of Parti Socialiste and the “left” of les Républicains towards him, Emmanuel Macron sought to recreate a different tri-partition from preceding one: FN – République en marche – France insoumise. Then the coalition of liberals would only have to the deal with the conjunction of “extremes.”
At once we note that this objective, capable of making the Cambadélis and Baroins despair, is not very different, on the other hand, from what Marine Le Pen and especially Jean-Luc Mélenchon may desire.
Breizh-info.com: Despite her eleven million votes in the second round, Marine Le Pen disappointed the majority of her supporters. According to you, what are the causes of what we must necessarily call her failure? Do you also think that she spoke too much of the economy and social issues, that she was not sufficiently concentrated on right-wing voters, who would constitute her most natural reserve of votes?
Alain de Benoist: On the eve of the second round, Marine Le Pen was credited at least 40% of the vote. She only received 34%. This mediocre performance cannot be explained solely by the quasi-unanimous support of the media and financial powers for Macron’s candidacy. Nor can it be explained by an alleged failure of “de-demonization.”
In 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen qualified for the second round, three million people marched and demonstrated in the streets, though the president of the FN had no chance of winning.
This time, there were only a few gangs of thugs and Antifa going to agitate in the street.
As Pierre-André Taguieff very rightly said, “the anti-nationalism demonizing [the FN], the offspring of anti-fascism and anti-racism, has largely lost its mobilizing force.” Clearly: it doesn’t work anymore.
If Marine Le Pen wasn’t capable of turning the trend in her favor, while a veritable thoroughfare opened before her, it’s quite simply because her campaign wasn’t good.
We can certainly invoke the themes she chose to emphasize. Like many, I actually think that she was wrong to put economic arguments ahead, and not underline the civilizational stakes of this election. Her obsession with leaving the euro had deleterious effects because, even supposing that such an objective is justified, it is evident that the complexity of the subject prevented it from being a campaign theme, especially since a vast majority of French people are totally opposed.
On the contrary, I believe that she didn’t emphasize the social aspect enough which is, with immigration and insecurity, one of the major preoccupations of the popular classes in an era where the capitalist system is in the process of destroying the world on a scale never seen before. In contrast to hyper-mobile nomads, the sedentary people have not yet been converted to globalization!
But that’s not the main thing. The most serious thing is that Marine Le Pen’s candidacy clearly revealed her own shortcomings. Her campaign never hit the right note. She lacked style, emotion, lyricism, vibrato. She knew how to speak, she didn’t know how to debate.
She knew how to elicit applause, but not excite crowds. In the disastrous debate against Macron, she revealed herself to be both incompetent and uselessly aggressive, thus suggesting that she was not at the level of her ambitions.
Marine Le Pen had the great merit of transforming a pure protest movement into a party truly desirous of coming to power, but in order to come to power, you need to have the capacities for it. Pretending to speak in the name of the people doesn’t even suffice for knowing how to speak to the people.
Special: The 2017 French National Elections