After weeks of unrest, tough anti-immigrant stances are resounding with a broader section of French voters. From the Christian Science Monitor:
ST. CLOUD, FRANCE — Through the antique binoculars in the study of his mansion in this plush Parisian suburb, Jean Marie Le Pen could almost see the fires burning in less favored districts surrounding the French capital.
And the leader of France’s extreme-right National Front party says the recent wave of violence by mostly immigrant-descended youths has proved his antiforeigner stance right.
“We have won several thousand new members in the past two weeks,” he exults. “People are saying, ‘They said you were an extremist, but you were a visionary.’ ”
But Mr. Le Pen, who shocked the nation three years ago by winning second place in presidential elections on an anti-immigrant platform, should watch his flanks, says Alan Duhamel, one of France’s foremost political commentators.
The conservative ruling Popular Union Movement (UMP), led by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, is seeking to outmaneuver Le Pen by stealing his votes, says Mr. Duhamel. “Everybody is moving right,” he argues. “The further right you go, the stronger you are.”
As the conservative government has stumbled, while the opposition Socialist party appeared in disarray, the only political group to emerge from the crisis with its colors flying is the anti-immigration National Front, the provocative bugbear of the French political establishment…