Many voters in France are throwing their support behind Marine Le Pen in next year’s presidential election in France. But much like the “quiet” voters who supported Donald Trump in the United States, not all of them are broadcasting their inclinations. These voters do not desire to be labeled xenophobic or racists, so for the most part, they will wait until it comes time to cast their votes in private.
Ms. Le Pen finds herself occasionally dissociating herself from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen’s anti-Semitic and racial image he was tagged with during his leadership of the FN party for 40 years. Instead, she has indirectly focused on the perceived immigrant problem by pointing to a “gloomy economy” caused by the “migrant crisis” that has been percolating in France since the end of World War II.
Le Pen puts frosting on the cake with her repeated reference to the terrorist attacks that have plagued the country. Jihadist attacks have claimed 238 lives in France since January 2015. The terrorist impact has localized and nationalized contempt for outsiders. Cries of “We live in permanent fear” and “She has good ideas when it comes to terrorism,” are becoming more frequent at Le Pen rallies
Le Pen is expected to win the first round of the presidential vote in April, qualifying her for the May run-off. The contest will then be between her and Francois Fillon. Before the Trump victory, pundits had written her off; now the “quiet” majority may send her to Élysée Palace.