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Marine Le Pen © Blandine Le Cain

Young Voices of the French Far Right

Will France elect the far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen?

France is heading to the polls on April 23. Following the shock results in Britain and the US in 2016, the French are on edge as they grapple with the prospect of a far-right president. But not everyone seems to think that’s such a bad thing.

The Front National (FN) is the French far-right party that is headed by presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Her campaign has been compared to US President Donald Trump’s in proposing strict immigration laws and ending free education for children of undocumented migrants.

The Front National represents a new generation of mainstream activists. What was once commonly thought of as a fascist and racist party is now trying to rebrand itself as realists.

For Christoph, 26, head of the FN’s youth in Calais, the party’s main focus is on protecting French people from globalization, unemployment and mass immigration.

For others, such as Marian, “France is becoming a racist country.” Born, raised and educated in France, she says: “The Front National is an extreme party, racist … who thinks that France belongs to the white but it’s not.”

Like the 2016 US presidential election, the fear of terrorism and the migration crisis have played huge roles in France’s political climate. The election is expected to be decided over two rounds, with a runoff that will likely include Le Pen.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Blandine Le Cain