Le Pen's Strategy Pays Off
How the National Rally Made a Comeback
Sunday was the second round of the French legislative elections and fresh off her loss in the presidential election just months ago, Marine Le Pen and her National Rally party saw the largest victory in the party’s history. She managed to pull this off despite refusing to create a coalition with fellow nationalist Éric Zemmour and refusing to move right on economic issues to persuade center-right voters.
I broke down Le Pen’s presidential campaign and the history of her party in a previous Substack worth reading, but let’s just say her father’s legacy became a hurdle many people thought impossible to overcome. “The Republican Ring” of non-National Rally parties agreed to work together to prevent them from holding elected office and outside of the EU parliament, they had been successful until the elections on Sunday.
The National Rally won an astounding 89 seats, 81 more than the previous election cycle and 54 more than the all time high of 1986 when the legislative election was proportional. Since they, they created a runoff election of the top two or in some cases top three candidates compete. This style of elections was supposed to prevent Le Pen’s party from winning legislative seats and polls were way off, predicting her party would only 20-50 seats in this election.
How did they do this?