A new poll in France shows that the battle in Europe between centrist parties and Euroskeptic opposition is far from over, with the country’s nationalist standard-bearer, Marine Le Pen, poised to capitalize on discontent with the current administration.
Polling organization IFOP (Institut Français d’Opinion Publique) found that Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN) edged out French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM) in a survey of voter intention for an upcoming European Parliament election by a margin of 21% to 19%.
When combined with other far-right parties, the nationalist, anti-immigration bloc was favored by 30% of respondents. That mark was up 5% from a poll in August, according to Reuters.
RN : 21%; +4
LREM : 19%; -1
LR : 13%; -2
FI : 11%; -3
PS : 7,5%; +1,5
EELV : 7%; -0,5
DLF : 7%; +0,5
UDI : 3%; +0,5
Générations : 2,5%; -0,5
PC : 2%; =
— Ifop Opinion (@IfopOpinion) November 4, 2018
The growing support for France’s anti-EU parties comes as Macron campaigns against what he called last week “the nationalist leprosy” spreading across Europe, per France’s LCI.
“The moment we are living through bears similarities to the interwar period,” the French president said during a trip to Eastern Europe, during which he lambasted populist leaders in Hungary and Poland as “fantasists who lie to their people.”
“In a Europe divided by fear, the nationalist withdrawal, the consequences of the economic crisis, one sees almost methodically the recurrence of everything that characterized the European life from World War I to the Great Depression of 1929,” Macron contended.
The polls out of France come after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centrist party suffered painful losses at the polls. In the case of Germany, however, the far-right, anti-immigration Alternative für Deutschland appears to have found a ceiling, with many of the votes lost by the center and center-left parties going to the environmentalist Green Party.