French right wing, anti-Islam party Front National (FN) continues to gain support and got a big boost from the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.
France will hold local midterm elections in December before the national election in 2017. Polls conducted shortly after the attacks show increased backing in both.
A poll released Monday shows the party has support from 40 percent of voters in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur, where 22-year-old Marechal-Le Pen is running to become the regional president.
Merachel-Le Pen is the granddaughter of FN’s founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of current party leader Marine Le Pen. Marechal-Le Pen gains three percentage points since before the attack, giving her a comfortable 10-point lead over second-placed Christian Estrosi.
FN has a one-point lead in the national election, making it a anyone’s race with two years to go.
FN is receiving support from surprising places. The party has become popular among France’s gay population. A recent survey showed it had support from 26 percent of homosexuals but only 16 percent of heterosexuals in the traditionally liberal Paris.
“After the financial crisis started you could tell that a switch [to the far right] was happening across the nation. But the fact that it was happening in the gay community was particularly telling,” Didier Lestrade, a gay activist who has written a book on the subject told The Spectator. “We knew that not all gay people are from the left. Even so, it was hard for my generation [he is 56] to believe that anti-Arab and anti-black opinions were starting to pop up on apps like Grindr and Cruise.”
The Jewish population in France is another big source of new votes for FN with growing anti-semitism in the country. Jean Marie Le Pen was in the hot seat for denying the holocaust which his daughter has distanced herself from.
The party has been label as racist since its founding and runs on an anti-immigration, socially conservative, anti-Schengen platform.
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