What factors resulted in victory of National front in French regional elections?

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The Far-right party of Le Pen named National Front or FN has just won a sweeping victory in regional elections of France, which were the first elections after the deadly attacks on Paris. Other than the staunch anti-Immigrant stance specially Muslim immigration from Former French Colonies in North Africa, what are the possible factors in this victory? Could Euro skepticism also be a factor?

EDIT:

In a dramatic turn of events, it has turned out that FN has failed to achieve victory in the regional elections as French voters flocked to Left and Center-Left parties.

NSNoob

Posted 2015-12-07T06:27:39.017

Reputation: 1 390

Regarding your off-topic questions, the answer is “no impact whatsoever”, those are regional elections. – Relaxed – 2015-12-07T08:05:21.183

Yes I understand that but the regional elections are just a start, when it comes to presidential elections, I doubt the outcome would be any different. But yeah they are off-topic so I am not interesting in them anyways. I just want to know what prompted the French to vote for them, rejecting both Hollande's and Sarkozy's parties. – NSNoob – 2015-12-07T08:09:09.877

1These elections are not a “start”, just a small step which could actually go both way (what if they do take control of a couple of regions and do silly things like the first FN mayors did in 1995?). The context is clear (the FN has been strong for 20 years, the current government is deeply unpopular, etc.) and that's what matters going forward but that's not a consequence of last night's results. – Relaxed – 2015-12-07T08:17:34.953

Since you are not interested in that and recognise it's off-topic I would recommend editing those questions out entirely. – Relaxed – 2015-12-07T08:29:07.140

@Relaxed thanks for the very informative answer. I have edited out the off-topic stuff. – NSNoob – 2015-12-07T09:42:23.313

1You did not ask about that but the French electoral system can be difficult to understand and none of this was as dramatic as some commentary made it sound. The FN increased its share of the vote yet again but it has been strong for years and always struggled with the second round. It's not to say that nothing happened but the first round did not mark a sudden victory out of the blue and there was no dramatic turn of events in the second round. – Relaxed – 2015-12-14T15:16:40.137

2Also, voters did not flock to any specific political parties. Turnout increased a lot between the two rounds and even the FN profited from that (which it used not to), just not as much as the other parties. Also, in the three regions where it had perhaps the highest chance to win, the FN lost to the mainstream right-wing party, not to left or centre-left parties. But the results were in case any unusually close given the context, that's the main news. – Relaxed – 2015-12-14T15:18:46.123

Answers

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It's obviously difficult to determine that, even long after the fact, let alone as the elections are still taking place (there is a second round next week-end).

But, for what it's worth, the main public broadcasters ordered an opinion poll that suggests “unemployment” was the top concern driving the vote. Most respondents did not think the mainstream right-wing party would do better and a plurality even considered that the FN would do worse than the current government when it comes to fighting terrorism.

Relaxed

Posted 2015-12-07T06:27:39.017

Reputation: 24 058

5could people be giving false answers for fear of appearing to be too pro-Le-Pen? It's a known issue with polling – user4012 – 2015-12-07T18:54:58.840

@user4012 Everything is possible but as far as I can tell, the question was not specifically about the FN. I am not aware of any well-known systematic bias in those kinds of polls. – Relaxed – 2015-12-07T19:21:28.817

1@Relaed - it's not a bias in the poll, it's a bias in the response. It doesn't seem very socially acceptable to support "extreme right" in France, from my understandig, so people are not likely to openly admit to that when asked. – user4012 – 2015-12-07T19:44:15.070

1@user4012 Yes, that's what I meant as well, and to rephrase my previous comment I am not aware of any such effect for this particular question (which was not whether they supported the FN but what issues were driving their choice). – Relaxed – 2015-12-07T21:10:38.843