Disconnected the front: who will compete with marine Le Pen in the elections in France

On Sunday, France will host the first major event marking the beginning of the campaign for the election of the President, the first round of primaries will hold center-right party “the Republicans”. Their winner will receive the support of the party in the presidential election that is scheduled for spring 2017. The main rivals of the Republican in the election, expected to become the candidate of the ruling socialists, and the leader of the right-wing National front of marine Le Pen.

After winning Donald trump on the election of the President of the United States, an increasing number of politicians do not exclude that marine Le Pen repeat his success in France. “All the polls show that the candidate is marine Le Pen will participate in the second round (of elections). This means that the balance of French politics will change completely,” acknowledged last week the French Prime Minister, socialist Manuel Valls (quoted by “RIA Novosti”). He also warned about “the danger posed by the far right” for the country. Le Pen expressed his joy from the victory of the Republicans in the elections overseas, and in a BBC interview said that “trump has made possible the previously unthinkable.”

Angry French

Popular support for Le Pen in recent times only increases. In October-November, its popularity has hovered around 30%. Le Pen appeals to the workers and villagers, as well as the French, disillusioned with the traditional political elite. French society is divided, the crisis of political elites in France is about the same as in the US, said Sergei Fyodorov, a leading researcher at the RAS Institute of Europe. The crisis of confidence in the establishment is that since the 1980s, the French never fully managed to overcome socio-economic crisis, explains the expert. In the economy the key issue is unemployment. During the reign of the socialist President Hollande, she never dropped below 10%. For this indicator, the country occupies one of the first places in the Eurozone. For comparison, in Germany, unemployment is around 5%.

The popularity of the National front is also supported by the rejection of part of the French society by European integration, the admission of refugees and the growing Islamization. In the event of his election to the presidency, Le Pen promises to hold a referendum on membership in the European Union and the return of the franc. In the economy the national front supports raising the minimum wage, lowering the retirement age to 60 years, reduction of taxes with the simultaneous introduction of additional tariffs on imports. The main focus is going to be done to help small and medium businesses, not corporations. The front national has traditionally advocated the restriction of immigration and criticizes the policy of multiculturalism. Le Pen supported the ban for Muslim women to go to the beach in private clothes.

The crisis of the presidential party

The socialists are in crisis, it will be difficult to find a candidate for President, the candidacy of the incumbent President Francois Hollande is extremely problematic, it’s unlikely his rating will dare a second time to run, one of the possible candidates could be Manuel Valls, but in General the chance of the socialists in the elections it is extremely slim, says Fedorov. Hollande’s ratings at the end of October was at a record low level of 4% (according to Cevipof, Ipsos-Steria Sopra). The socialists were weakened and the decision of the Emmanuel Macron leave the party and resign from the post of economy Minister to yourself to run for President, said Fyodorov.

“We are talking about a completely new configuration of the political system. Most likely, the incumbent would not run, the Republicans are holding their first primaries. A lot of the new” — said the Director of the Franco-Russian analytical center “Observo” Arnaud Dubien. “People are dissatisfied with the policies of Hollande. In society there is a huge demand for change, renewal and honesty. This adds to the unpredictability,” he adds.

Hollande about his plans not yet announced. The primaries of the socialists is due in January 2017.

German stability

German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private meeting of the Presidium of the CDU in Berlin on 20 November announced namereny to run for a fourth term, BBC reports, citing members of her party. National elections should be held in Germany next autumn. In September, the CDU was defeated in the regional elections. At the Congress, Merkel said that her policy of “open doors” against migrants was one of the reasons for the defeat of the party. Merkel’s ratings in recent decline but still remain at a high level. According to the Emnid research service, more than half of Germans said that they are ready to support Angela Merkel in the event of her nomination to the post of Chancellor for a fourth term. For the re-nomination of the conservative opposition had 55% of the respondents. Another 39% were opposed, which is 11 p. p. less than in August (50% against and 42%).

Opponents on the right

In the Bulletin of the Republicans, the output of theing in the primaries — seven people, but only three can be considered the favourites — the former in the years 2007-12 by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who held in the same years the post of Prime Minister Francois Fillon and the mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppe, who headed the government in 1995-97.

In favor of juppé, can play a new system, the primaries of the centre-right, analysts suggest. For the first time to take part in them can all French. For this you need to have the right to vote, to pay 2,5 euros and to sign a “Manifesto of right-wing values.” For finding outside the territory of the country provided online voting.

Juppe suggests to liberalize the labor market, cut taxes on employers to carry out a partial privatization, to abandon the 35-hour workweek in favor of a 39-hour. In addition, he promised to cut 250 thousand civil servants. In favor of juppé plays his experience is mayor of Bordeaux. For almost 19 years in this position he managed to turn the city into a thriving regional centre. Finally, in 1995-1997 Juppe already has a strict reform, which cost him the post of Prime Minister.

Sarkozy is trying to present himself as a candidate of the “silent majority” — on the model who won the presidential elections of the USA of Donald trump. The economic program of Sarkozy is less developed than that of Juppe. The former President promises to lower taxes — especially inheritance tax for the middle classes and collect from wealthy citizens (ISF). While Sarkozy names Juppe plans to reduce civil servants unrealizable — it program contains provisions to protect jobs.

Fillon went to the primaries with hard initiatives to liberalize the economy. According to him, “France has never been closer to the era of Margaret Thatcher”. The removal of the limit of working hours per week, raising the retirement age, reducing benefits. Vacant for the account of the budget funds will help to offset the deficit that will occur due to the reduction in taxes on business. But these measures can incur the wrath of the influential French trade unions.

Over the past few months the leader was considered Juppe, however, as you get closer to the primaries the polls showed the popularity of his main rivals. The Cevipof research and Ipsos-Sopra Steria showed that for the mayor of Bordeaux in the primaries are ready to vote 36% of the respondents, since October he has lost 3 percentage points of Sarkozy in the same poll supported 29%. The survey recorded a rapid growth of a rating of the Fillon — almost 10 percentage points over the month. According to a poll Ifop-Fiducial for him ready to vote, 27% of potential voters.

Expert Fedorov predicts that the winner of the primaries will emerge in the second round and they will become Juppe. He also, according to experts, will compete in the second round of the presidential election with Le Pen and, most likely, will win.

France is hardly possible surprise, the same Brexit or victory trump, believes Fedorov: the country has a vaccination poprawienia, even in the most difficult time for Europe, in the 1930s, when the neighboring countries were “fascization” of the political elite in France this did not happen.

Interest in Russia

Presidential candidates are well known to the Kremlin. Nicolas Sarkozy, already stepping down from his post, regularly visits of President Vladimir Putin. This year during the St. Petersburg economic forum, they had an informal dinner, and in October last year, Putin took Sarkozy in Novo-Ogaryovo. Then Sarkozy said that “the world needs Russia — Russia and Europe are doomed to work together” (quoted by the Kremlin website). With Fillon, Putin met informally in 2013 and 2015, Fillon also took part in the work of the Valdai club with Putin three years ago.

A frequent guest in Moscow not only marine Le Pen, which Sergei Naryshkin as Chairman of the state Duma regularly took at home, but her niece Marion maréchal Le Pen. Marion Le Pen on Thursday visited the state Duma, where he met with the Deputy and former Prosecutor of the Crimea Natalia Polonskaya.

With the Franus relations in recent times, by contrast, was complicated. Vladimir Putin canceled his October visit to France after the harsh statements of Hollande on Syria, although the two still met, at the summit in Berlin, as are participants in the “Normandy format” on Ukraine.