12:38 GMT11 July 2020
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    Anti-Islam sentiment in France following the Paris attacks on November 13 in which 129 people were killed and hundreds injured has led to a huge boost in the popularity of Marine Le Pen's Front National party.

    Leader of the French Far-right party the Front National (FN) Marine Le Pen
    © AFP 2020 / FRANCOIS GUILLOT
    Although Marine Le Pen leads the party and is enjoying enormous backing, attention has fallen on her niece, Marion Marechal Le Pen, granddaughter of the politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the party.

    A poll conducted just after the Paris attacks puts Marion Marechal Le Pen well in the lead to win the presidency of the southern Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur region (PACA) in December's regional elections.

    Jean-Yves Camus, associate researcher at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs told France 24 her anti-immigrant and anti-Islam message resonates with the public in urban areas such as Nice "which is a big transit point for refugees entering France through Italy."

    The Front National has long campaigned for the reintroduction of border controls, stripping known jihadists of dual nationality and for the closure of mosques where imams advocate radical forms of Islam.

    Marine Set for Presidency Challenge

    Meanwhile, her aunt, Marine Le Pen is set to take her seat in the depressed Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, setting her on course to challenge for the presidency of France in 2017. She has seen a huge rise in the popularity of her anti-Europe, anti-immigration Front National party, spurred on by the deep unpopularity of Hollande and the continuing migrant and refugee crisis in Europe.

    French policemen patrol on November 5, 2015 in the Jungle migrants camp in Calais
    © AFP 2020 / PHILIPPE HUGUEN
    French policemen patrol on November 5, 2015 in the "Jungle" migrants camp in Calais

    Marine has carefully pulled her party slightly towards the center from its ultra-far right position under her father, Jean-Marie, when he led it. He courted controversy through the years and was accused and convicted several times at home and abroad of xenophobia and anti-Semitism and made several provocative statements interpreted by the legal system as constituting Holocaust denial.

    Eventually, in May 2015, he was suspended from the party, but he brought two legal challenges against Front National, before finally being expelled in August 2015.

    Related:

    Paris Terror Attacks 'Deadly for Hollande's Re-Election Hopes'
    Marine Le Pen Urges to Stop Accepting Migrants
    Populists Pull EU From Right to Left as Europe Loses Faith in Brussels
    No Of-Fence: Le Pen is Mightier Than Hollande's Words
    Tags:
    regional elections, terror threat, migrant crisis, presidency, popularity, far-right, immigration, Paris Attacks, Front National, European Union, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Francois Hollande, Marine Le Pen, Europe, France
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