Alienated Suburban French Voters Turn to Le Pen to Restore Order

AP Photo
The Associated Press

Many French voters living in the suburbs are voting for anti-mass migration candidate Marine Le Pen hoping she will restore order to areas plagued by crime and violence due to migrant gangs.

As more migrants continue to arrive in the suburbs of major cities, the vote for the Front National and Le Pen continues to grow amongst French residents dissatisfied with rising levels of crime. The suburbs, known as banlieues, are rapidly changing due to mass migration leaving many of those living there describing feeling like strangers in their own neighbourhoods, Le Monde reports.

One of these residents is 88-year-old Micheline who lives outside of Paris in Seine-et-Marne. She described her neighbourhood saying there were “four Arab [households] in front of me, four others at the end of the street on the right, a black [family] on the left”. She added there were less than a dozen native French left in her area, mostly retirees like herself.

Alain Gredelue, 69, is another retiree who questions how so many migrant families drive expensive cars in his area. “I have a Clio and they have Mercedes and 4x4s,” he said. “It really annoys me.” He said his modest income pays the bills but not much else.

Retirees are not the only ones who feel the government has forgotten about them in favour of migrants. Bastien, 25, an official in the town hall in Montfermeil, Seine-Saint-Denis, and his fiancée, Jessica, are forced to share a house with five other couples due to the cost of living.

“The state always helps the same people: immigrants and migrants. It injects millions to renovate their cities and we never get anything, ” Bastien said.

“We pay 700 euros in rent for a 322 square foot place,” he said. “We just earn a little too much to have a helping hand, but not enough to live properly.”

The suburbs have also been home to rioting and violence as recently as February when police were attacked after allegations of police brutality involving a young man named Theo. Ms. Le Pen commented on the matter at the time saying the French government had become “paralysed” in dealing with the situation and has promised to restore order.

Some have made even more serious allegations about the suburbs saying there has been a rise in the number of radical Islamists coming from them. Malek Boutih, an MP in south Paris noted in 2015 that the suburbs “are no longer producing rioters, they are producing terrorists”.

The assessment turned out to be true in the case of one of the Bataclan attackers who grew up in the Paris suburb of Courcouronnes.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at