French elections: Le Pen getting to second round?

Just heard it on news (and read it on another forum) - door-to-door poll is showing that instead of second round match-up of Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin that was excepted, Chirac would be facing Jean Marie Le Pen, the far-right anti-immigrant candidate. Of course, it’s not final results, and Chirac would likely be the clear favorite against Le Pen in the second round, but it’d still be a bit alarming that old, crusty xenophobe Le Pen would beat center-left Jospin.

The final result will be known only during the night, but it already seems certain that Le Pen made it to the second round.
I’m devastated…

All of my French friends are as well. Shocked. Very surprised.

It should be pointed out Le Pen only got 17%.

But that’s still pretty horrifying.

Yes, but Chirac only got 20% (all figures quoted so far are on the basis of exit polls). There seems to have been a major apathy problem among Jospin’s supporters and an underestimation of crime and immigration as hot issues among voters.

More here

Le Pen

Maybe it’s time that I give up atheism and just adopt a full on fundamentalist protestant view…cause I can hear some horns blowing and some seals breaking…there will be locusts and frogs and shit before you know it.

The end times are a comin’

I’m completely in the dark when it comes to Le Pen. Can someone fill me in as to why he is so controversial and the events that lead to his upset? Thanks…

M. Le Pen is a far right, anti-immigrant French politician, who has referred to the Holocaust as a footnote in history.

Here’s a profile.


Presumably, the French people will vote against Le Pen - even if they hate Chirac - in massive numbers in the run-off election.

Please tell me they will.

Sacre nom d’un chien.

The only good news is that only 20% of the electorate voted, and the vote for Le Pen was only 17% of that. Which is only 3.4% of the potential electorate.

If we assume optimistically that the majority of the apathetic voters are disaffected non-fascists (Hi Godwyn!) who’ve just received a shot across the bows, we can expect the turnout at election #2 to be a landslide for Chirac, especially now the Jospin vote will go to Chirac too (even Jospin’s going to vote for Chirac!).

Scary stuff indeed; a high degree of support for the Front Nationale is horrifying, but thankfully the main problem is actually voter apathy.

Au secours.

I’m pretty sure that’ll be the outcome. I chatted a bit to some folks on the train, and a lot of people didn’t vote in the primaries, but they find him such and embarrassment, that they’ll come out if full force now. Particularly the Jewish, Arab and North Africans voters.

Yay! They are on the same side! We’re making progress.

Whilst I’m sure that this result is quite alarming, I think we can all take comfort from the low voter turn out and the fact that Le Pen doesn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of winning the final round. On the other hand, I also think that to ignore this vote, composed of presumably anti immigrant vote in the main but embellished with some anti EU votes too, would be a mistake.

On the third hand, I have to say that it is great fun sometimes to watch politicians get a kick in the teeth from their wonderful perfect system called democracy:)

I hate to be the one to correct you on this, 'cause I wish it wasn’t so. But the fact is that about 27,7% of the electorate was in ‘abstention’ i.e. did not vote and 72.3% did (very low for Europe in gen. and France especially - voting was down 7% since last presidential).

Hence, it is close to 13% of the total electorate that went to the polls on Le Pen’s and FN’s tab.

…moi en tout cas je n’en reviens pas. J’ai honte pour la France!

*Electorate results as reoprted in today’s Le Monde *

Inscrits : 40 251 881 (registered Voters)
Votants : 29 129 595 (Voters at the polls)
Exprimés : 28 141 988 (Mail voters etc.)
Absentions : 27,63 % (Absented)

Jacques Chirac (président sortant de droite) : 19,67 %
Jean-Marie Le Pen (Front national, extrême droite) : 17,02 %
Lionel Jospin (premier ministre socialiste) : 16,07 %
François Bayrou (centre) : 6,89 %
Arlette Laguiller (trotskiste) : 5,77 %
Jean-Pierre Chevènement (souverainiste) : 5,36 %
Noël Mamère (écologiste) : 5,27 %
Olivier Besancenot (trotskiste) : 4,29 %
Jean Saint-Josse (chasseurs, droite) : 4,28 %
Alain Madelin (droite libérale) : 3,92 %
Robert Hue (Parti communiste) : 3,41 %
Bruno Mégret (extrême droite) : 2,36 %
Christiane Taubira (gauche) : 2,15 %
Corinne Lepage (écologiste, droite) : 1,89 %
Christine Boutin (droite) : 1,19 %
Daniel Gluckstein (trotskiste) : 0,47 %

Can’t say that I am laughing as hard as you seem to be! This is terrifying taken in the wider context of x-treme right wing upswing in Europe (Haider in Austria, Nationalists in Antwerp, the return of the Republican (Not the same as US) in Germany and fascists majority in Denmark… Europe is facing some very difficult battles ahead.

Remember also that most these guys are for seceding from the Union, this is a direct threat to the EU, which after all was created to avoid these kind of things.

Oh. I stand utterly corrected.

Apologies, I picked that up from the shower radio this morning, so I must have had water in my ears :wink:

That’s far, far worse than I thought. :eek:

Come on Johnny Frenchie, pull the finger out next time and vote against the Nasty, what what.

I correct myself…

In my quote from Le Monde

Exprimés should be translated to ‘non-blank’ votes i.e. votes for a candidate and nothing else

This should surprise no one. If the mainstream parties do not address the concerns of the voters the extreme ones will. Immigrants in Europe have been the elephant in the room for too long. Hopefully the mainstream parties will stop ignoring the issues of immigration and crime and this will be a one-time thing.

Well, won’t this make the Brits and Yanks toast the two(and maybe a half)-party system (how the heck do you end up with three trotskyite – trotskyite??? huh? – presidential candidates?)

Yet, before they toast it too much, the way I add it up, unless either the Greens, the “centre” or the communists had cast all their votes for Jospin, LePen would have still made the runoff. Various flavors of “right” added up to 29%, the “extreme right” 19% (if “sovereignist” is also extreme right, then make that 24%); socialists + left = 18.2%; commies + trotskyites = 14%, centre 6.9, greens 5.3

And at least, now Chirac can go in less beholden to LePen – unlike the case if in a 2-party system, LePen would be the head of a powerful, policy-setting “hardline” wing within the conservative party, vs. a liberal party half-full of actual reds.

What issues?

I take it you mean the perceived issues…issues that are fueled by the extreme parties as much if not more than by the reality.

Then of course we could get into the whole discussion how the general population fuels crime amongst immigrants by a) socially marginalizing them b) condoning treatment of minorities by the authorities that verges on or even fulfills the definition of harassment and c) refusing to accept that they are an integral and valuable part of the economy.

Have you ever spent time in France as a North African looking young man, or in the company of one? The local police are really friendly to you… they’re a downright welcoming committee wherever you go. They’re even so friendly that they’ll invite you to their place for strip searches and fingerprints just for walking in the street.

I don’t know who started all this, but given how intricate the problem has become I don’t see how any serious political party could address this other than through the general attempts at sowing accord across the ethnic divides and ameliorating overall living standards.

Votes of disaccord with the policies of Weimar and apathy in the electorate led to the NSDAP entering the Reichstag in 1932…was that a good idea?

For more see the thread ‘Is apathy in the electorate fueling a fascist tide in the Western world?’.

If crime is a big issue in French politics then there are many ways government can reduce crime. Large american cities such as Boston and New York have had dramatic results with various policing techniques. I am sure the French government could implement some of these techniques if it wanted to. Once crime was under control then it would be much easier to ameliorate race relations without the undercurrent of fear that high crime rates produce.