24 March 2014 - French local elections
French far-right Front National party makes big gains in local elections
Kim Willsher (The Guardian)
France's far-right Front National party has made significant gains in local elections, when voters sent a message of deep dissatisfaction with the Socialist president François Hollande.
As the voting stations closed, polls were suggesting the governing Socialists had gained just 43% of the vote nationwide, compared with 48% for the centre-right opposition.
The FN was believed to have polled around 7% support, a considerable gain given that the party was represented in less than 600 of the 36,000 French municipalities where votes took place.
More of the same
Staff (The Economist)
SHE has the glint in the eye and the breezy confidence of a politician who knows that things are going her way. Marine Le Pen, leader of the populist National Front, is heading into the two rounds of French local elections on March 23rd and 30th with the largest number of candidates the party has ever fielded at municipal level. Already, at the 2012 presidential election, she bagged nearly 18% of the vote, coming third to the mainstream candidates on the left and the right. This time, in towns where the Front is standing for municipal councils, Ms Le Pen is hoping to do even better. “Do you realise what that means, for a movement with little local elected base?” she says, almost in disbelief. “Something is happening.”
The municipal elections are the first mid-term test for François Hollande since he captured the presidency in May 2012. His Socialist Party is bracing itself for sweeping losses. With an approval rating in the polls of just 19%, Mr Hollande is the most unpopular modern French president ahead of any similar election. The economy is still sluggish and unemployment remains painfully high. His government is paralysed by rumours of an imminent reshuffle and discredited by its own amateurism. Although the Socialists will probably hang on to some big cities, including Paris and Lille, they are likely to lose more, among them possibly Reims, Metz, Angers, Amiens and Strasbourg.
John Lichfield (The Independent)
In a stinging punishment for President François Hollande, right-wing and far-right parties made sweeping gains in the first round of the French municipal elections on Sunday night.
Marine Le Pen’s National Front seemed likely to score its best-ever results in local elections and may capture several town halls next weekend for the first time in nearly two decades.
The far-right won outright in the depressed former mining town of Hénin-Beaumont, near Lille, without the need for a second round of voting next week. It also had substantial leads on Sunday night in two medium-sized towns in the South, Fréjus and Béziers. It held smaller leads in two larger southern cities, Perpignan and Avignon, and in Forbach in Lorraine.
Hugh Carnegy and Michael Stothard (Financial Time)
France’s far-right National Front stunned President François Hollande’s socialist government in nationwide municipal elections on Sunday, attracting a surge of support in mayoral races in large parts of the country.
The FN, led by the charismatic Marine Le Pen, won outright its first mayoral seat since 1995 and appeared well placed to gain other towns in run-off votes next Sunday.
The mainstream centre-right UMP party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy was also leading the Socialist incumbent in several cities in the first countrywide electoral test of Mr Hollande’s deeply unpopular two-year old presidency.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"24 March 2014 - French local elections", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mars 2014. Consulté le 03/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/24-march-2014-french-local-elections