Marine Le Pen next. White working-class rage
Newsletter published on 9 November 2016
(1) The (Rothschild)
Economist contemplates a Le Pen Victory
(2) Le Pen congratulates Trump
French Elite doubles its efforts to stop Marine Le Pen
(4) Farage Offers to
be Trump's Ambassador to the EU
(1) The (Rothschild) Economist
contemplates a Le Pen Victory
Donald Trump’s victory presage a win for Marine Le Pen? It remains
improbable. But it would be unwise to rule it out
What might be the knock-on effect in Europe of Donald Trump’s
The next big democracy to vote after America is France, which holds
presidential election next spring. Could Marine Le Pen, leader of the
populist National Front (FN), be elected president?
American result, the question seemed absurd. Polls have
suggested for months
that she would do well enough to secure one of the
two second-round places
at voting next April. This in itself would be a
victory of sorts, repeating
the achievement of her father, Jean-Marie Le
Pen, in 2002. But no polls have
indicated that she could beat the
centre-right candidate likely to face
Now, the unthinkable has become conceivable. There was no disguising
delight in Paris at the FN headquarters. A jubilant Ms Le Pen, who had
argued that a Trump victory would be good for France, congratulated the
American president-elect and praised the "free" American people. Her
lieutenant and party strategist, Florian Philippot, summed up the mood
at the FN: "Their world is collapsing; ours is being built." Even Mr Le
Pen, who has fallen out with his daughter, tweeted: "Today the United
States, tomorrow France!"
Certainly, the parallels between Ms Le Pen
and Mr Trump are striking.
Both trade on simplified truths and build
politics on rejection and
nostalgia. They have both reinvented themselves as
outsiders, who stand up for people forgotten by the
system and scorned
by the elite. They speak to the same white working-class
similar vocabulary, and thrive each time the establishment sneers
them. Drawing her own personal strength from the old industrial and
mining towns of northern France, which once voted Communist, Ms Le Pen
is now the favourite politician among French working-class
Their policy instincts are similar too. Mr Trump and Ms Le Pen
protectionists and nationalists, supportive of Brexit and
Russia. The FN has borrowed money from a Russian bank with
links to the
Kremlin, and Ms Le Pen has long admired Vladimir Putin.
Paris are particularly concerned at the prospect of an
Mr Trump, Mr Putin and Ms Le Pen, bent on dividing the
and undermining the old order. After the Brexit vote, the FN
promised a "Frexit" referendum in France too.
is rhetorical excess. Ms Le Pen is in some ways a Trump
lite. She may share
many of his reflexes, but wraps them up in more
cautious language. She has
never, for instance, called for all Muslims
to be banned from France, but
rather for an end to an "uncontrolled
wave" of immigration. She does not
promise to build walls, but to
control borders. The problem, she says, is
not Islam but what she calls
the "Islamification" of France.
France, where Ms Le Pen is trying to transform a one-time pariah
with former neo-Nazi links into a credible political force
ready to govern,
such nuances remain an asset. Ms Le Pen’s populism has
fewer rough edges
than Mr Trump’s, and is all the more electorally
powerful for it. Even in
France’s two-round system, which makes it
difficult for insurgent parties,
her party has shown that it can win a
majority of votes locally. The FN now
governs a dozen town halls across
France, mostly in the north and the
To win the two-round presidential election,
however, Ms Le Pen would
have to break a glass ceiling. Empirically, this
has capped her support,
both in opinion polls and at the ballot box, at just
over 40%. A
majority of French voters on the left and centre-right, less
their political family than they are allergic to the FN, tend to
to vote against it in a run-off, in what is known as a front
républicain. They did just this at regional elections in December 2015,
when Ms Le Pen won 44%, but failed to secure the presidency of northern
France, after Socialists, improbably, campaigned for the centre-right
candidate, Xavier Bertrand.
All polls suggest today that Ms Le Pen
would similarly face—and lose—a
presidential run-off next year against the
Republican candidate, who
will be picked at that party’s primary later this
month. She would do
better in a contest with Nicolas Sarkozy, a frenetic
against whom polls suggest she would win 42% of the vote,
than she would
if she faced Alain Juppé, a professorial former prime
whom she would win 32%. Indeed, Mr Juppé has specifically
left-wing voters disappointed with François Hollande’s
presidency to turn out at the Republican primary and vote for him,
more palatable option for them than Ms Le Pen.
All of which
assumes, however, that the polls are a reasonable guide to
intentions. Recent American and British experience now caution
The sense of possibility that a victorious Mr Trump offers
Ms Le Pen will
give her campaign fresh momentum, and perhaps embolden
supporters. The more the media and political classes lament
result, the more she will play on the arrogance and
entitlement of the
out-of-touch Paris elite. And, whether Mr Juppé or Mr
Sarkozy runs for
president, her anti-establishment denunciation of the
unchanging cast of
political old-timers will ring all too true. A Le Pen
victory may still be
improbable. But it would be a grave mistake to rule
Pen congratulates Trump
Nov 9, 2016 | 2:56am EST
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen
congratulates Donald Trump
France's far-right National Front party leader
Marine Le Pen
congratulated Donald Trump on Wednesday as he looked set for a
victory in the U.S. presidential election.
the new president of the United States Donald Trump
and to the free American
people!" she said on Twitter.
Opinion polls show Le Pen likely to win the
first round of French
presidential elections next year, but lose in the
second round to
whoever should be her opponent.
Her father, party
founder Jean-Marie Le Pen who reached the second round
presidential elections in 2002, added his voice.
"Today the United
States, tomorrow France," he tweeted, while National
Front deputy leader
Florian Philippot followed up with a tweet saying
"their world is crumbling.
Ours is building."
France's National Front has been building support for
anti-immigration, anti-European Union stance in recent
U.S. Republican nominee Trump was on Wednesday edging closer to
the White House with a series of shock wins in key states such as
Florida and Ohio, rattling world markets that had expected Democrat
Hillary Clinton to defeat the political outsider.
Andrew Callus and Ingrid Melander; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
Elite doubles its efforts to stop Marine Le Pen
must face possibility of a 'President Marine Le Pen'
Published: 09 Nov
2016 13:28 GMT+01:00 Updated: 09 Nov 2016 13:28 GMT+01:00
Trump's earth-shaking win and Britain stunning the EU by
voting out, France
must now accept the possibility far-right Marine Le
Pen could actually pull
off a hat-trick of shocks in next year's French
Marine Le Pen congratulated Donald Trump on becoming the new
of the United States long before the official results were
A sign that the leader of the populist far-right National Front party
bouncing with confidence on Wednesday.
And you can’t blame
"Madame Frexit" as she dubbed herself, has already been given a huge
boost this summer by Britain’s rejection of the EU.
And if Le Pen and
her party needed any more proof that populism was
proving popular it came in
the form of 47.7 percent of the American
electorate voting for their own
anti-establishment, wildcard candidate
in the form of Trump.
world is crumbling, ours is being built" was how National Front
leader Florian Philippot summed it up.
"Today, the United States,
tomorrow France. Bravo America!" cheered
Jean-Marie Le Pen the founder of
the the National Front.
Leur monde s'effondre. Le nôtre se
pic.twitter.com/zpRlXqZnlC — Florian
November 9, 2016
For once it didn’t feel
like inflated populist rhetoric.
But can Le Pen really complete a hat
trick of shock vote victories?
"It’s now a hypothesis that everyone
should take seriously," French
political commentator Philippe Marliere told
The Local on Wednesday.
"That doesn’t mean it will happen, but it’s now
something we have to
consider is a possibility.
"And I would never
have said that a few years ago. But Trump, with his
populist, xenophobic and
anti-immigrant discourse has managed to take
over the most powerful
democracy in the world. So why can’t it happen in
newspaper Le Monde carried a similar warning: "In the world that
up with this election, anything is possible – even that which
difficulty facing up to – an extremist party taking power."
Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin added: "The main lesson for
us in France is
that Marine Le Pen can win".
In next spring's presidential elections Le
Pen is expected to top the
first round of voting.
But polls show she
is likely to be defeated in the second round, as her
party was in last
year's regional elections, when tactical voting kept
them out of
But who is willing to trust opinion polls anymore after both
Trump defied them?
"There's a global awakening," Le Pen
told reporters last month in the
southern town of Frejus where supporters
flocked to hear her bashing the
EU, the euro and immigration.
echoes of Trump's "Make America Great Again" or Brexit's "Take
slogans, she declared that "the time of the nation state has
Le Pen, who has worked hard to clean up the image of her party,
that in France there are similar conditions and a similar climate to
UK and the United States.
There are swathes of disenfranchised
voters, white working classes who
feel abandoned, record unemployment, rapid
devastating jihadist terror attacks, a migrant crisis
and a longstanding
resistance to change among many voters, especially in the
There is also the weak and disunited left which has had a
shot at power
and failed to achieve what it promised voters and a right
failing to convince the electorate that it is a better
In France's depressed north, for example, voters in former
bastions have decamped in droves to the protectionist National
out of frustration with the government's failure to halt factory
Into this setting anti-establishment figures like UKip’s Nigel
Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen can find fallow turf to plough their
populist anti-EU, anti-globalisation and anti-immigration
"There could be a kind of contagion effect. Disenfranchised
see it happen elsewhere and think why not in France?" says
The best scenario for Le Pen would be
a second round face off against
former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who is
deeply unpopular among left
wing voters, many of whom are horrified at the
prospect of having to
tactically vote for "Sarko" to keep Le Pen
Sarkozy has lurched to the right in his bid to win back the Elysée
Palace and his rhetoric is even more anti-Islam and anti-Immigration
than Le Pen’s.
"If people have the option of a copy or the original,
they will always
go for the original," said Marliere.
Le Pen has the
advantage that with Brexit unlikely to be triggered
before May’s elections
and Trump only taking office in January, it's
unlikely there will be any
catastrophic effects that may dissuade French
voters from putting a cross in
the box next to her name.
Jean-Yves Camus, a researcher who specialises
in far-right movements,
said her trump card was that she had never been in
"It conceals many aspects in her programme that lack
credibility," he said.
"She is absolutely convinced she can win," one of
Le Pen's advisors told
(4) Farage Offers to be Trump's
Ambassador to the EU
Farage says he would like a role in Donald Trump's administration
Ukip politicians was coy on whether he had already had talks with Mr
November 9, 2016
[...] The former Ukip leader has
campaigned for Mr Trump in the United
States, giving a stump speech at at a
rally on stage with the billionaire.
Mr Farage, who remains leader of
Ukip’s group of MEPs despite stepping
down as party chief after the EU
referendum, said he would like to serve
as Mr Trump’s ambassador to the
Donald Trump says election victory would be 'Brexit plus
He was evasive when questioned whether he already had
Mr Trump about working for his administration were he to be
The Brexit campaigner likened the US elections to the EU
suggested Mr Trump would bring about "change". Mr Trump has
parallels between the two votes, dubbing himself "Mr
"I don’t know what’s going to happen, all I can say is this
very simple: it’s rather like Brexit. Do you want a change, or
want to stay exactly as you are? That’s what it’s all about," Mr
told ITV1’s The Agenda programme.
"If he did offer me a job I
would quite like to be his ambassador to the
European Union. I think I would
do that job very well."[...]