Metternich famously commented, "When France sneezes, all of Europe catches cold." Though Germany is the economic powerhouse of the Continent, in many ways, France remains the most influential country when it comes to politics. And nationalism is rising in the Fifth Republic, as the National Front of Marine Le Pen is now the most popular party among 18-30 year olds.
With between 27 and 31 per cent of French youth saying they are ready to vote for Marine Le Pen, Le Point notes that the time of the Front National’s widespread demonisation now seems long gone...If only voters between the ages of 18 and 30 went to the polls, Francois Hollande would have no chance of getting through to the second round as Frederic Dabi, deputy director of Ifop, notes that the Left Party’s Jean-Luc Melenchon is now picking up the bulk of the young, left wing vote.The poll suggests that only Bordeaux mayor and Republican Alain Juppé would be able to compete with Le Pen’s rating among young people in the first round of the presidential elections.Reporting that the three most important issues for the country’s youth last summer were employment at 47 per cent (against 41 per cent nationally), security at 34 per cent (against 39 per cent nationally) and immigration at 32 per cent (against 34 per cent nationally) French newspaper 20 Minutes last year identified the growing support among France’s youth for the Front National.[Front National Now Top Choice For French Youth, by Virginia Hale, Breitbart, May 5, 2016]
Of course, this being the right wing, there's also a lot of self-sabotage and infighting going on, with Jean Marie Le-Pen (Marine's father) savagely criticizing his daughter for taking the party in a more moderate direction. Marine Le-Pen actually expelled her father from the party he founded.
Despite the internal conflict, the National Front is still scaring other European leaders (or, rather, the anti-Europeans who rule Europe) who promise to oppose them. Chief among them is the biggest traitor in European history, despicable nation-wrecker Angela Merkel. She said she would do her best to interfere in French elections when she spoke to students at a French school in Berlin.
The students also wanted to know what would happen if the French National Front continued to rise in popularity and perform well at next year’s presidential election. “I will try to add my own contribution, as far as one can from outside, so that other political forces are stronger than the National Front,” she answered.[Merkel pledges to help hinder France's National Front, by Albrecht Meier, EurActiv, May 3, 2016]
Nationalism is rising all over Europe. If it breaks through in Europe, Merkel fears (rightly) Germany is next.