Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/882/21904

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 December 2015

French elections - Le Pen's far-right FN surges

Governing 'Socialist' Party punished for failings

Clare Doyle, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI)

The massive vote for the far-right National Front (FN) in the first round of regional elections in France on 6 December saw them coming top in nearly half of the regions. The party's leader, Marine Le Pen, got 40% in the poorest of France's regions - Nord-Pas de Calais-Picardie.

Over 28% for the FN in this election is more than double the 13.6% they achieved in the last parliamentary election in 2012.

This does not come as a surprise. But nor is it due to the public mood that exists after the atrocities of the 13 November Paris attacks. Support for the FN has been growing under the leadership of Marine Le Pen since 2011. She has taken it onto a more populist tack than her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was an outright defender of the heinous policies and crimes of fascism.

After the second round of voting on 13 December, the FN is likely to take control in at least two regions - the run-down industrial region in the north and in the rich southern Cote d'Azur region, where the more extreme Marion Marechal-Le Pen heads the FN list.

The FN which is patently racist and xenophobic, constantly blames immigrants for the nation's problems. It is in favour of creating homes and jobs... but only for the French.

The FN has been able to make gains against both the ruling PS (Socialist Party) and the traditional right of Sarkozy's Party - the UMP, now known as the Republican Party (PR).

In spite of a rise in the personal popularity of President Hollande, Sunday's vote indicates a collapse of his PS.

The PS has withdrawn from the second round in the two regions most threatened with FN success. It is proposing a 'grand coalition' with the 'traditional' right PR to try and block the FN from taking power in any region.

The same proposal will no doubt arise when it comes to the presidential election in 2017, in which it is feared the FN will score another high vote.

The PR has declared opposition to such a deal, fearing further loss of support by any association with the crisis-ridden PS government of Hollande and Prime Minister Valls.

The vote for these two parties might have fallen even further relative to the FN, if they had not taken on board much of its repressive and nationalistic policies after the Paris atrocities.

The big vote for the far-right party is partially a protest vote, in the absence of forces on the left with a coherent alternative to the cuts and job losses of the incumbent parties. The main danger is that the FN can consolidate its support.

Abstention among those who say they are close to the left was in the region of 47%. The involvement of the 'Communists' of the PCF in government decisions means it has not been able to put up a serious opposition on behalf of workers and young people.

Marine Le Pen has voiced support for the problems of workers and, for her own nationalistic reasons, for retaining industries like transport in the hands of the French state. However, she has also attacked trade union struggles, such as in Air France, where the FN called the workers 'hooligans'.

Workers' struggles

The major trade union federation - CGT - linked with the 'Communist' Party of France, was pressed from below not to accept the prolongation of the state of emergency and the ban on demonstrations after the horrific killings in Paris. (The PCF deputies had supported the measure in the Assembly.)

The CGT membership saw it as a one-sided declaration of a truce in the struggle with the bosses and government that continue with their attacks. The federation leaders felt compelled to call a national day of action on 2 December, against the sackings at Air France and attacks on trade union rights and conditions in workplaces.

There is considerable anger building up among workers and young people on a number of important issues which can explode at any time. There could be outbursts of protest in the schools against the National Front's successes and in the factories against the arrogance of the bosses.

The level of abstentions among workers (62%) and young people (62%) is a condemnation of the failure of the 'traditional' parties to offer any solution to the problems which anger them.

The Left Front - consisting of Melenchon's Parti de Gauche, the PCF, some ecologists and others - has all but collapsed.

Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France) has consistently argued that the only way to defeat the right and prevent the rise of the FN is with a mass campaign against austerity, job cuts and racism.

The FN has stolen the clothes of the left as well as the right and prospered. The workers' movement must reclaim and revive the 'traditional' programme of struggle and socialism in France.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 9 December 2015:


What we think

How can Corbyn and the left win in the Labour Party?

International Brigades fought against capitalism, not for


Socialist Party news and analysis

Defending the right to deselect warmongers

Young people accused of extremism

Rail fares and profits rise as service suffers

Tax-dodging drug firm shuts research facility

Them & Us

Quiz of the year


International socialist news and analysis

French elections - Le Pen's far-right FN surges

Venezuela elections

Northern Ireland: movement needed for abortion rights

Ireland - defend the Jobstown protesters

Sweden - public housing victory

Belgium - party congress success


Socialist Party feature

Floods reveal effect of government cuts

Carlisle - lives and livelihoods devastated

Capitalism's climate change policy failure


War and terrorism

A week of anti-war campaigning in Walthamstow


Workplace news and analysis

Interview with new RMT president

Unison general secretary election in crisis

Trade unions must join the fight for steel nationalisation

Strike in support of suspended headteacher

NSSN action in the North East

Workplace news in brief

Readers' comments and reviews

Eleanor Marx: A life of struggle, solidarity and socialism


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

TV review: Tomorrow's Food

Letters


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight to save our NHS

Thousands march around the country against the bombing of Syria

Confronting the far right in Derby

Subs campaign: have you increased yours yet?

North West fighting fund week of action!

The Socialist Christmas schedule

Socialist Party national committee meeting


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 December 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Marine Le Pen:

triangleFrench elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

triangleFrance - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

triangleMélenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force

triangleMelenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force

triangleFrance: Groundswell of support for left candidate

Elections:

triangleElections, strikes and revolutions: Socialism '19 - daring to fight

triangleVote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

triangleFar right makes gains in Germany

triangleGreece elections: Syriza ousted amid voter disillusionment

Far-right:

triangleFight the far-right - fight for socialist policies

triangleEuro elections 2019 - Across Europe

triangleSwansea anti-far right protest

Socialist:

triangleFight for your future - join the socialists

triangleThe Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

Workers:

triangleSocial workers lobby Hull City Council

France:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Lessons of France '68 for the climate strikes today

Election:

triangleClimate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further

Protest:

triangleClimate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

CWI:

triangleNorthern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

Racism:

triangleUnite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

Fascism:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Fascism - what it is and how to fight it

Sarkozy:

triangleFrance: Burkini ban fuels division

International

International

4/12/19

South Africa

South African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

4/12/19

Hong Kong

Hong Kong's uprising

27/11/19

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Presidential election sees return of dictatorial Rajapaksa clan

27/11/19

Iran

Regime's fuel price rise sparks massive protests across Iran

20/11/19

US

Amazon bosses defeated in Seattle - Kshama Sawant reelected

20/11/19

Chile

Chile revolt continues: read eyewitness report

13/11/19

Bolivia

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

13/11/19

Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle

6/11/19

Chile

End repression in Chile - freedom for soldier David Veloso

30/10/19

Chile

Chile in revolt

23/10/19

Chile

Chile: An outpouring of rage against the capitalist system

23/10/19

Kurds

Solidarity with the Kurdish people

23/10/19

Catalonia

Catalonia: Draconian prison sentences of independence leaders provokes mass protests and strikes

23/10/19

China

China at the crossroads: 70 years since the declaration of the People's Republic of China

23/10/19

Lebanon

Massive protests against Lebanon's corrupt elite

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999