Sunday, September 25

Germany and France against Italy and Spain

After the trauma that it entailed in France the pass of Jean-Marie LePen In the second round of the 2002 presidential elections, more than a million people demonstrated on May 1 of that year against the far right. A week later, the conservative Jacques Chirac won the elections with 82% of the votes, while the candidate for the extreme right only got 18%.

Twenty years later, a different atmosphere is breathed in France. Barely 25,000 people demonstrated on April 16 against the extreme right in the neighboring country. For the third time in recent decades, the French will choose between a center-right candidate and an applicant ultranationalist Y xenophobic. A part of the left she is tired of this dilemma between “plague and cholera”. Marine LePen He has concentrated on stopping being scary and thus anesthetizing the democratic cordon that prevents his coming to power.

Although more worn than 20 years ago, the “republican front” -expression used in France to designate the cordon sanitaire against the extreme right- is still alive. According to the latest polls, the president Emmanuel Macron He would prevail in Sunday’s elections with 57% of the vote compared to 43% for Le Pen. Since the election night of the first round on April 10, the centrist leader has increased his advantage by four points. This dynamic reflects that more and more French leftists, perhaps with a nose clip, will vote for Macron, despite disappointing them throughout his term.

From the 2017 presidential elections to numerous local and legislative elections, the cordon sanitaire was key to avoiding ultra victories. The double-round electoral system, added to the (decreasing?) fear of the extreme right, was key to avoiding the victories of the lepenism. In fact, the National Regrouping It has less institutional power than Vox in Spain. It only has seven deputies in the National Assembly (with 577 seats) and the Perpinyà City Council as the only showcase of any importance.

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“No vote for Mrs. Le Pen”, said repeatedly on the election night of April 10 the rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose 22% of votes in the first round became a coveted war trophy in this second round. Nine days later, the social-ecologist leader also recommended his sympathizers not to abstain.

“I think we should take with a grain of salt all those polls that say that 20% of Mélenchon’s voters could support Le Pen in the second round. Five years ago the same possibility was also evoked and in the end only 7% of the voters voted for it. electorate melenchonista”, remembers the political scientist Manuel Cervera-Marzal, professor at the University of Liège, in statements to EL PERIÓDICO. “This idea that there is a porosity between the extreme left and the extreme right has a part of media construction“, he adds. In France, the cordon sanitaire to the ultras It ranges from the Republican Right to the Alternative Left. ENRIC BONET

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