Why we should we worried about Le Pen
There is a real possibility that in the French presidential elections, later this year that the far right National Front could increase their support. Marine Le Pen, currently set to come in third out of the potential 15 candidates
Having campaigned against the London Regional organiser of the BNP, Robert William Bailey a sitting councillor at the time in the May 2010 local council elections and taking back his council seat for Labour, I know only too well the dangers of the far right gaining political ground and the nasty vicious campaigns they run. Nick Griffin was a real threat to Margaret Hodge MP and campaigning against the BNP and speaking to some of their supporters on the door step was not always a pleasant experience.
Although the BNP have lost political power in Barking and Dagenham, they still have a lot of support from residents there. An increase in the share of the vote for Marine Le Pen, may serve to strengthen their political nonce, giving them credence to maintain their seat in the upcoming London Assembly elections.
Le Pen has so far not made race and ethnicity an overt part of her campaign although the anti European stance is clearer. This clever tactic demonstrates the sophistication with which this far right party is operating, which seeks to appeal to the ordinary working class citizen, who can be discontent with the status quo, where most of her ground is currently being gained. Her father in 2002 came second place to the former French president Jacques Chirac.
So the Labour party ought to keep a close eye on the share of the vote that Marine Le Pen gets and hope that it goes down. Year on year the BNP share of the vote has reduced from 14.5% in 2007 to 8.3% last year and this is a downtrend we should wish to sustain.
This article was also published on left foot forward. Click here to see the article on the Left Foot forward website