A new radical right economic agenda? : The transformation of the Front National in France
Workshop on "Radical Right-wing Populists and the Economy"
2013-10-03 / 2013-10-04
France, Presidential elections 2012, Front national, Radical Right voting, Economic positions
The Front national (FN) has made an impressive come back in the 2012 French presidential election winning 17.9 per cent of the first-round vote. Such performance was bolstered by the economic and political context: in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, France had entered a period of economic instability, rising unemployment and deep social pessimism. This paper looks at how the FN has striven to adapt to the social demand for protection and redistribution amidst the crisis. Under the leadership of Marine Le Pen, the party has substantially altered its economic policies to endorse statist redistributive economic policies. This paper examines the magnitude of this strategic programmatic shift by the FN, and to which extent the formulation of a new economic agenda has allowed the party to occupy an electorally more beneficial position in the 2012 presidential race.