28th Oct 2016

France's National Front tops EU election survey

France's National Front party has come out top in a poll on how French voters intend to cast their ballot in next year's EU elections.

A poll by Ifop for Le Nouvel Observateur, published Wednesday (9 October), found that 24 percent of those asked said they will vote for the anti-immigration, anti-Muslim National Front party.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The centre-right UMP managed 22 percent while the Socialists, political home to President Francois Hollande, comes third with 19 percent.

The newspaper remarks that the poll is "of course not a prediction. But it describes a new reality in French political life.

"The FN is changing in nature. Its place is not longer at the margins of the political game but at the centre."

The party won a record 18 percent of the vote in last year's presidential election, with its leader Marine Le Pen credited with bringing in previously unwooed parts of the electorate.

Almost one in five women and nearly 25 percent of 18-24 year olds voted for the party, new percentages for the FN.

The party campaigns for curbing immigration and exiting the euro. Le Pen has styled herself as protecting France against both the "European Soviet Union" and against Muslim immigration.

Meanwhile there could be political upheavals during the 22-25 May election in other countries too.

Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, who PVV party advocates withdrawing from both the euro and the EU, remains a major force in the Netherlands.

It has been polling top in the domestic scene in recent weeks amid frustration with the current government's economic policies and amid rising euroscepticism among the Dutch.

Both Wilders and Le Pen have mooted the possibly teaming up to campaign ahead of the elections.

The eurosceptic, anti-immigration UK Independence Party, came third in local elections in May.

It is currently polling at 11 percent, ahead of the junior governing party, the Liberal Democrats, but is tipped to exceed the 16 percent it claimed in 2009, while party leader Nigel Farage has himself predicted an "earthquake" next year.

The National Front poll is set to heighten fears - already alive in Brussels - that the elections to the European Parliament will result in large gains for extremist parties.

Some hope that the personalization of the politics in the shape of parties putting forward candidates for European Commission president will motivate more people to go to the ballot boxes.

European political parties have not nominated candidates yet but there is increasing talk of Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, a veteran of the EU scene, being the centre-right's candidate.

European Parliament chief and socialist Martin Schulz is seen as a strong contender for the centre-left, with the French socialist party having endorsed him on Tuesday (8 October).


Iceland's not-so-quiet revolution

In the space of three years, Iceland's main parties have seen their vote decimated, and new parties may well take almost half the electorate in Saturday's election.

Belgians meet for fresh Canada talks

Negotiators made headway on Tuesday but failed to break the deadlock on the EU-Canada free-trade agreement, which is still blocked by Belgium's French-speaking entities.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersUN global sustainable development goals, integration, and security on agenda for Nordic Council Session 2016
  2. Taipei EU OfficeTaiwan Seeks to Join Fight against Global Warming
  3. ANCI LazioAnci Lazio Definetely has a lot to Celebrate This Year
  4. EU-China ForumDebating the Future of the EU-China Relations on 28 November in Prague
  5. COMECEMigrants: From Fear to Compassion
  6. Birdlife EuropeBusiness as Usual - Juncker Snubs Environment and Protects Broken CAP
  7. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  8. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  10. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  11. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  12. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament

Latest News

  1. Calais children abandoned at former camp site
  2. Greece to probe UN allegations of illegal returns
  3. Poland defies EU on rule of law
  4. Belgium breaks Ceta deadlock
  5. Left MEPs thwarting Dieselgate probe, say right MEPs
  6. Cars should be allowed to exceed emissions limits, say experts
  7. EU case against Google is bad for developers
  8. Privacy activists mount court challenge to EU-US data pact