Shining a light on the heartlands of the French far-right

By and

While this year’s presidential elections in France saw the first return to power of a socialist administration in 17 years, it also landmarked a significant resurgence of the French Front National (FN) party, whose candidate and leader, Marine Le Pen, scored the highest share of the vote the far-right has ever reached in a presidential poll, attracting more than 6.4 million voters. But behind her national score, Le Pen arrived first-placed among the ten candidates in one out of six municipalities across the country. A French researcher has now completed a study of the populations where Le Pen did best, and his findings contradict a number of clichés about its grass-roots supporters. Michaël Hajdenberg and Mathieu Magnaudeix report.

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While this year’s presidential elections in France saw the first return to power of a socialist administration in 17 years, it also landmarked a significant resurgence of the French far-right party, the Front National (FN).