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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 party, 2 and it is clear that

Le Pen had a strategy to resurr

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