Eszter-Petronella SOÓS PhD

28. National Front: the strongest French party?

This week might make the National Front the strongest or the second strongest party of France, even though its local grounding is not that deep and wide as it has been hyped after the local elections of March.

Could the National Front win the European Parliamentary election?

According to opinion polls, the National Front might win the European Parliamentary election this Sunday. Effectively, in this proportional electoral system, the National Front might turn out to be the strongest party in France (while the governing PS is expected to come out third of the poll).

What will other parties do?

Will this give another boost to the National Front so that its local grounding becomes deeper? If that happens, that might create a very delicate situation in French party politics. The current party system is a bipolar multiparty system, but the National Front becoming a third big party could put an end to this bipolar system and create a tripartite system that is full of surprises and uncertainties.

In a tripartite system like this, the UMP and the PS could only keep the National Front from winning mandates by cooperating with each other or by cooperating by the radical left. This would result in a very instable situation that has been unheard of since 1958. If Marine Le Pen continues to be as successful as she is now, the era of stability might be over.

What will the radical left do, where antifascist traditions are still strong? Will they help the UMP, if the stake is barring the FN from winning mandates? There is a political cleavage that is profitable to both the National Front and to the radical left: at the heart, opposition to the EU and to globalization. What will it be: piggybacking or antifascism?

We will know by the end of this week: theweekinfrance21-2014.