Marine Le Pen almost totally “melonized”

Summer 2017. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French far right, is campaigning for the French legislative elections with a radical program and rather faithful to the line of the party created by her father, the National Front (FN). The party proposed in particular an exit from the euro, the suspension of the Schengen agreements allowing free movement – ​​suspension subject to a referendum vote – and an advancement of retirement to 60 years.

The most controversial issues concerned immigration: additional taxes for foreign workers and halving legal immigration to France. At the end of these legislative elections, the FN won 9% of the vote, or 8 seats in the National Assembly.

Seven years later, the FN became the National Rally (RN), and Marine Le Pen became a presidential candidate, tells the Madrid daily El Mundo. With already 88 seats obtained in the 2022 legislative electionsthe party is today aiming for an absolute majority (for this it needs 289 seats out of the 577) in the legislative elections of June 30 and July 7, 2024. And, to achieve a wide margin, it has chosen to soften its speech.

A strategic backpedal

Its program does not include “neither leaving the euro nor leaving Schengen”, analyses the conservative daily. As for retirement, it has finally risen to 66 years “for French people who started working at 24 and have paid contributions for forty-two years”. On immigration, the idea is rather to maintain national preference (namely the French first).

This backpedaling is precisely what Marine Le Pen wanted, claims the Spanish media, which sees it as the culmination of the process of “de-demonization” of the RN, “refined for a decade by its leader”.

Already by the change of namethe first sketch of the line she drew on the dark past of the party and her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, known for his racist and aggressive statements. Then by the choice to take Jordan Bardella as runner-up, This “ideal 28 year old son-in-law” professional past in image smoothing.

The abandonment of angry subjects has paid off on all levels, as much in the local establishmentuntil now confined to certain specific regions, that in the rapprochement with other parties, such as the Republican right with the alliance with Eric Ciotti.

This all sounds very similar to The strategy of the Italian Giorgia Meloninote The World. Coming from the post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party, Meloni used her image as a Christian mother close to the people to seduce, while playing the role of consensus leader at European level.

Over the years, the French far right has “watered down its most radical proposals to reach the gates of power”, concludes The World. Without the famous “sanitary cordon”, Or “anti-Le Pen front”, can do much about it now.

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