Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National party has never been closer to power. That is not to say she will be elected president in May. When in 1962 Charles de Gaulle introduced direct universal suffrage for the presidential election, he cushioned it with a two-round voting system in which a 50% majority is required in the runoff.
Le Pen seems set to pass the first hurdle, but not the second. In that case, the biggest danger lies not so much in her entering the Elysée Palace, but in her party becoming the largest opposition force in the National Assembly after the parliamentary elections in June. But don’t be mistaken, a worst-case scenario is possible.
The fact is, the taboo of a far-right presidency no longer holds in France. Low turnout in the runoff, combined with political polarisation, more scandals or, even worse, outbreaks of violence, could make a Le Pen win possible. [741 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMEBT 496 votes] 'It is no exaggeration to say the fate of democracy in France and in Europe is at stake.'
If Le Pen gets elected, that's democracy.
[3RD 366] You're bang on.
The arrogance is unbelievable.
[2ND 429 ] "In today’s France it has become almost normal to say immigration and refugees are a problem". How unpleasant. People saying things. Can't have that. I imagine it is normal because people think it is an accurate refelection of reality. What is the writer suggesting here - that people should in some way be prevented from saying what they think the world is like?
[4TH 280] I sincerely hope she wins
[5TH 264] Guardian HQ just can't help themselves comparing Marine Le Pen and other "populist" leaders to Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich at any given opportunity. This decry of wanton hysteria does no one no favours.
[6TH 247] I'd have thought the Guardian would support the only woman in the game especially on International womens day! [Guardian Cif] Read more