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The growth of Marine Le Pen

Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen, a French politician who took after her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, as the leader of the National Front party back in 2011, is convincing French people that Emmanuel Macron is out of touch.

About Marine Le Pen

Le pen was born in August 5, 1968 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. She pursued a degree in law from the University of Paris in 1991 and earned an advanced degree in criminal law in 1992 from the same university. She worked as an attorney in Paris for six years.

She joined the administration of the National Front party, founded by her father in 1998, and was the main opposition to conservative parties in France. She became the vice president of the National Front in 2003, and in 2004 she ran for a seat in European Parliament. Her profile in the party rose, and she led in her father’s campaigns in 2007.

Le pen emerged as a public figure from her father’s career and later separated herself from some of his views. She was appointed to represent the party in the 2012 elections competing with Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. Le pen earned over 18% of the presidential vote.

Le pen continued to modify her image and that of the National Front; her reputation showed the rising acceptance of the party as a suitable option to Frances’s two main parties. Elder Le Pen was forced out of the party that he had operated for almost 40 years. 

After the terrorist attack in Paris that killed 130 people and 350 left injured on November 13, 2015, Le Pen blamed Hollande and France’s immigration policy. The growth of anti-Islamic ideas improved the National Front’s execution in December 2015 regional elections, and Le Pen led in the first round. She became the second in the second round. 

In the 2017 presidential elections, Le Pen finished second, with the winner being Emmanuel Macron. She declared National Front the official opposition to Macron’s government. After legislative elections in June 2017, Le pen won a parliamentary seat for Henin-Beaumont, and she had to step down from the European Parliament seat.

Could she win in 2022?

The next presidential elections will be conducted between 10 and 24 April 2022, just before the legislative election. If no candidate secures a majority of the vote in the first round, a runoff will occur between the first two competitors, two weeks after the vote as per the constitution. The current president of France who won the 2017 elections is Emmanuel Macron and whose term will end on May 13, 2022.

At the beginning of this month, thousands of people (unionists and workers) marched to demonstrate against the restrictions put against Covid-19 and their effects on the working class. Two years back, President Macron’s administration was involved in disagreements with unions. Macron’s approach to the pandemic is termed “chaotic” by some people, including his political rival, Marine Le Pen. He is still highly criticized and unpopular.

 

 

Macron has not yet declared whether he will be vying again or not. Still, he plans to tirelessly fight against elitism and privileges, as seen in his closure of ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration). ENA is an elite post-graduate school that has been producing many nations’ civil servants for decades.

On the other hand, Le Pen announced on January 16, 2020, that she would be on the ballot box in the 2022 presidential elections. Macron has seen his presidential term spoiled by his disliked actions on domestic issues and how his ways of dealing with the pandemic are causing disagreements.

According to two polls conducted in April by the Independent French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), 35% of the people trust the Government’s COVID-19 prevention measures, while only 45% have a favorable view of Macron being fit for a president. This is not just due to his failure to produce an efficient vaccine rollout, but more because he opted to ignore the scientific guidance on the pandemic.

He has already destroyed his image in a France that is damaged by disagreements after the recurring terrorist attacks and pension reform. Although these polls are not accurate, they are a great description of what is currently happening in France.

Marine Le Pen’s party, the National Rally, has never led in second-round presidential elections since 2002. The party is now ranked ahead of other political parties for voters in the age range of 25-34. These are the people who have been paid during France’s economic crisis, the unemployed, and those unable to finish their studies.

Le Pen has succeeded in acting as the only opposition party to Macron-led government by taking advantage of the president’s failure in answering questions about migration and separation of religion and government, which has dented his reputation in the past two years. Her strategy appears to establish a strong criticism of the president as not minding the lives of people in the rural areas and the poor, but instead, he is concerned more about investors and actors of globalization.

Macron will have to manipulate some candidates from the political system. These candidates may include Xavier Bertrand, a Republican who seems to possibly not win the second position against Macron and Le pen, especially after LR lost in the previous local and European vote.

However, Le Pen has not changed her inability to produce reasonable economic plans since she lost in 2017, especially when handling France’s debt. This has led to her recurring failure.

Jean Luc Melenchon, LFI leader, is also expected to reappear on the ballot. If the populist left-winger runs for the third time, he will not possibly win but will likely increase pressure on Macron over what he terms as a violation or threats to personal rights and liberties. Parti Socialiste is also likely to participate, but it does not have any official candidate.

Macron was not expected to win the 2017 presidential elections, but he succeeded in an unexpected turn. We should expect more twists and unexpected changes as we approach 2022, for, in elections, anything is possible.

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