France’s Front National is now attracting voters of all ages, as a recent poll has revealed the Eurosceptic, anti-immigration party is now the top choice for 18-30 year olds.
With between 27 and 31 per cent of French youth saying they are ready to vote for Marine Le Pen, Le Point notes that the time of the Front National’s widespread demonisation now seems long gone.
Having voted decisively in the country’s 2012 elections for the current head of state, Francois Hollande, Le Monde reports that the latest study, done by Ifop for France’s National Association of Boards for Children and Youth (Anacej), shows young people in France have turned their back on the Socialist Party President.
Amid violent protests over new labour reforms that will make the process of hiring and firing new staff easier for employers, Le Monde comments that never before has the bust-up between Mr Hollande and the country’s youth seemed so irreversible.
If only voters between the ages of 18 and 30 went to the polls, Francois Hollande would have no chance of getting through to the second round as Frederic Dabi, deputy director of Ifop, notes that the Left Party’s Jean-Luc Melenchon is now picking up the bulk of the young, left wing vote.
The poll suggests that only Bordeaux mayor and Republican Alain Juppé would be able to compete with Le Pen’s rating among young people in the first round of the presidential elections.
Reporting that the three most important issues for the country’s youth last summer were employment at 47 per cent (against 41 per cent nationally), security at 34 per cent (against 39 per cent nationally) and immigration at 32 per cent (against 34 per cent nationally) French newspaper 20 Minutes last year identified the growing support among France’s youth for the Front National.
Anacej president Mathieu Cahn says the Front National is especially attractive to young people who feel excluded from society, but notes that the party’s presence in the second round of voting often serves to motivate people to the polls to oppose them.