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Monday, 12 August 2013

France: Polls: National Front likely to get 18- 21 % at the European elections

Early polls show that Marine Le Pen’s National Front party will likely succeed in taking many more seats in the European Parliament at the upcoming European elections scheduled for 2014.  The French far-right party is currently looking for allies in other European countries in order to get more of its candidates elected.
At the 2009 European elections, the National Front party took only 6% of the vote and as a result, only three of its candidates were elected: Marine Le Pen, Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Gollnisch. However, according to the latest polls, this time the party is likely to get between 18 and 21 % of the vote thus, managing to elect around 12 candidates. Nevertheless, in order to achieve this, it has to include at least 25 members from a quarter of the Member States (meaning seven EU countries).
In 2007, the party had been involved in the creation of the "Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty" group with the Austrian, Flemish, Bulgarian, Romanian and Italian far right. However, the coalition was dissolved a few weeks later, after an Italian member, Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the Italian dictator, insulted the Romanians.

Right now, following a failure to approach the French right-wing party Debout la République (DLR), the National Front is looking for possible allies all over Europe. In April, Le Pen met with the Dutch politician Geert Wilders whose Party of Freedom is third in power in the Netherlands and holds four seats at the European Parliament. In particular, Wilders is known for opposing the euro and Islam.
In addition, the Flemish far-right Vlaams Belang party that advocates the independence of Flanders is also in Le Pen’s contact list. Another possible ally is the UK’s Independence party (UKIP) of Nigel Farage that currently holds 14 seats in the Parliament. However, Farage had always rejected any cooperation with the far-right and in particular, with Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

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