The Rise Of The French National Front
The French Front National (or FN) has been, and currently is, the most successful extreme
right-wing party in post World War Two Europe. Indeed, not since Nazi Germany has such
an extremist party gained mass support, or caused other political rivals such concern over
it's success in elections. Essentially the FN have proved that, given the circumstances, there
is still room for right-wing extremism in today's politics. The question is though, how have
the Front and its founding leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, been able to penetrate into the
mainstream politics of modern day democratic France?
This essay will attempt to answer such a question by analysing three main areas of the
Firstly, we will look at its increasing popularity during election results since the party was
Secondly, we will analyse why the party has gone from strength-to-strength over the years
by looking at its policies, it's voters and Le Pen himself.
And thirdly we must come to the conclusion of whether the Front has played a significant
roll in French politics and society and look at the parties future prospects.
The FN and Electoral Performance:
As stated earlier, the Front National was formed by Jean-Marie Le Pen (who still
remains its currant leader) in 1972. It was an attempt to form a coalition of extreme
right-wing groups and raise the profile of extreme nationalism into mainstream politics.
However, Le Pen was careful to distance himself traditional right-wing parties, and was also
careful to steer the FN away from claims that they were a fascist party. As Alistair Cole
"From its inception the FN leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, strove to demarcate the Front from
earlier, especially violent manifestations of the extreme-right tradition. 1
Indeed Cole refers to the FN as a "Reluctant anti-establishment par