Le Pen believes she's in the ascendant

Using her Twitter account, Marine Le Pen was one of the first to congratulate Donald Trump. Like other far-right politicians in Europe she sees her chances as having improved after his victory. Does she now stand a better chance of becoming the next president of France? Or will she be unable to emulate Trump's success?

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Dennik N (SK) /

Trump will not decide election in France

Le Pen's chances of becoming the next French president depend only on the situation in France, Dennik N believes:

“There is some sense in the idea that Trump's success will put wind in the sails of Europe's populists and extremists. There can be no doubt, the new US president serves as a model. ... Le Pen's National Front has been growing for years, however - also because Le Pen has softened the party's rhetoric. What's more, the French economy is in a bad state. There is some hope in the fact that France votes in two rounds of elections. In such a situation Trump can be of little help to Le Pen. ... Her victory or defeat will be decided by domestic issues, not by the fact that Trump is sitting in the White House.”

Marianne (FR) /

Le Pen's strategy won't pay off

Donald Trump has a key advantage over Marine le Pen, Marianne comments:

“With his repeated blatant provocations, which the horrified media only amplified, Donald Trump was able to mobilise voters who had taken refuge in indifference. ... In seeking to de-demonise herself, in polishing her discourse and trying to appear like a responsible candidate, and even in putting her media profile above public appearances, Marine Le Pen has been able to gain popular support, certainly. But she has been unable to mobilise the broad mass of non-voters that would enable her to clear the 50-percent hurdle. Clearly Donald Trump did just that, even in states like Florida or North Carolina which seemed clearly in favour of his rival.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Le Pen can't copy Trump's success

It's still possible to prevent Le Pen from becoming president, Dagens Nyheter is convinced:

“Although France also has voters who are afraid of the future, much speaks against Le Pen. ... Her National Front emerged strengthened from last year's regional elections, but didn't attain more than 30 percent of the vote. It's not as if her slate were clean: on the contrary, she's been in politics for a long time. It seems her hidden support isn't as big as one might think, because those who vote for her aren't ashamed to admit it. Her goal of reintroducing the franc scares off business as well as pensioners and savers. ... A Le Pen presidency would be a further blow to a liberal and humanist world order. That's why the respectable parties must show that they can solve the political and economic problems at hand.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Nominate newcomer to stop the far right

Politicians like ex-economy minister Emmanuel Macron who present themselves as resolute and optimistic could stop the rise of Marine Le Pen, the Financial Times believes:

“The former economy minister may be unlikely to win in a political culture that has rarely favoured centrists or economic liberals. But he is a relative newcomer offering much-needed optimism and a willingness to advance iconoclastic ideas. It is to be hoped that the traditional parties will unite around candidates offering a similarly positive alternative to the far right, rather than a watered-down version of its policies. Ms Le Pen’s popularity reflects voters’ disaffection with a system that has failed them - but she does not provide the answers and must not be allowed to dictate the terms of the debate.”