Thursday, October 17News For London

Front National wins no region but the youth vote soars

Front National failed to win any regions in the second round for the French elections on Sunday. Despite the defeat, it confirms its high appeal and leader Marine Le Pen attracted the youth vote.

Marine Le Pen's Front National neared to win a region for the first time in its history. Credit to Blandine Le Cain
Marine Le Pen’s Front National neared to win a region for the first time in its history. Credit to Blandine Le Cain

Front National (FN) – whose English translation is National Front – loses the second ballot in the regional elections. Of the thirteen regions voting, Sarkozy’s Popular Movement takes 7 regions and the Socialist Party 5.

However, the vote revealed a trend on going since the European election in 2014. The FN confirmed to be the first party among the young people.

Arnaud de Rigne, the coordinator of the FN’s youth movement Jeunesse (FNJ), offered a deep analysis on what pushes a youngster to vote for the FN. He argued: “We lost, but right and left parties have failed. They showed all their incapability. They deny patriotic feeling. They give sovereignty to the EU. They let everyone to cross our borders.

He went on: “Young people ask for security and a better quality of life. Nobody is providing us with it. That is the reason why they vote for the FN.”

 

Data released on 2 December by IPSOS/Sopra had foreseen that 35% of people aged 18-24 would vote for the Front National at the Regional election, against the 21% for both the Socialist Party and the Popular Movement.

Despite the high abstention, the first round on 6 December confirmed the prevision. The Front National obtained 36% of vote from people aged 18-24. And the FNJ continues to grow.

Marion Sachot, another member of the National Bureau of FNJ, stated: “Youngsters want change and hope. That is why they vote for us: we stand for these values.”

In a recent interview with the French magazine Les Inrocks, Sylvain Crepon, a sociologist expert on the FN at the University Francois-Rabelais, outlined the feature of a youngster voting the FN.

He said: “They tend to have a low education and they see in the European Union and the globalization the causes of the crisis. They live in the countryside and don’t speak any second language. They are also pessimistic towards the future and it is a generation who is scared to lose what their parents achieved.”

Mr Crepon also explained what they aim to achieve by voting the FN. He stated: “They want to remain on the same level of wellness they were brought up in. And they want jobs, that have been wiped out by the international crisis. They see the FN as the only party that looks after their desires.”

Gaetan Dussausaye, the current President of the FN Jeunesse, remains optimistic and will work to attract more youngsters in the future. He tweeted early on Monday: “If you look at the first turnout, the majority of young people, who decided to vote, voted for FN.”

Read more: French public’s ignorance of EU behind far-right party’s rise