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Front National: “A Surge in Rural, Small Towns”

Christophe Giulluy, geographer, is the author of La France périphérique (Flammarion). He is a consultant for local governments and manager of Maps Productions, a marketing company. He works from the late 1990s to develop a new social geography.

Interview

What do you think the score of Marine Le Pen?

It is especially important to read compared to that of Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002. In fifteen years, Le Pen garnered a little over two million more votes, which is considerable. Of course, as a percentage, is below what she hoped; she is not at the head, making it a difficult margin of progression to the second round. Projections give it 38 to 40% of votes in the second round, it will be enough to pass, but it still wants to say something broke.

Where do we have the most voted for the FN?

The national analysis shows that FN vote is the same since the 1980, Marine Le Pen leads in the same bastions: the North, East (with the exception of the Lyon region) and the PACA region. However, when looking in detail, we see that there is a surge in rural, small towns, both in the West than in the East, with a durable score beyond 15 % in Brittany. It is clear that there is something that moves.

What are the springs of this vote?

The confrontation of Macron versus Le Pen, is chemically pure: globalized against de-globalized, up against the bottom edge against the large cities. What tends to erase the traditional geography. This new card wife sociology of the middle class. She is at work for a long time in Austria, Sweden, the United States, in Britain. Trump vote is the consequence of the financiarisation under Clinton; the Brexit, the industrialization under Thatcher. In France, the Front National is the one that has best speak to this population of workers, employees whose standard of living has declined objectively. They observe that globalization has created wealth but they do not benefit.

Since Sunday we talk about political realignment, what should we expect?

Sunday’s big bang will, I hope, help to put everything on the table. The real divide today is the economic integration of populations living in the small towns and medium cities, it is no longer binary confrontation between left and right. Macron’s stroke of genius is to have understood that. For its part, the FN a diagnosis of globalization, compared to Europe, immigration, although these indicators are not always good.

Is this the end of the major parties that shape French politics for sixty years?

I do not read the coffee grounds, but I do not see the FN in power this year. What is certain, however, is that the political realignment is necessary and beneficial. Everything that comes from above is no longer heard. On the ground, many elected officials are no longer in tune with their parties, which are incapable of thinking against themselves. The worst would be that Macron does not take into account this aspiration.

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