THE PROTEST VOTE, THE ANGRY VOTE, THE REJECTION VOTE
The National Front may be criticized for its ideological concept, its history but it is the only party in the last decades to have maintained the same political objectives that little by little have been translated into elements of governance even if one doesn’t share them.
The only issue confronting the French citizen today is the protest vote, the angry vote, the rejection vote. One can expect with almost certainty that French citizens are going to exercise this need of protest next Sunday. But with a difference that this vote for the National Front may change the French political landscape. Indeed, this vote won’t be without consequence and a simple protest exercise. It will produce for the first time consequences of a scope that can’t be foreseen modifying the historical, political and social scaffolding of France.
Two groups of voters for the National Front may be distinguished. The first group comprises people who believe that by voting for the National Front their life will change radically. Next to this group an important percentage of French people are going to vote for the National Front out of spite. They will make this decision because they feel deceived, disgusted by present political leaders and they will manifest their dissatisfaction even if they don’t share the ideas of the National Front’s program.
The French citizen doesn’t have a choice. He/she has to choose between two of a kind or the National Front. French citizens have had enough of having to bear the incapacity of the elite that has not been able neither to foresee the future nor to solve their difficulties.
The result of this inexorable dynamics is that for the first round the National Front may obtain at least 30% the of votes regardless what the polls may be saying.
Turnout is expected to hit record lows this year. Over 30% of French voters said they’ll abstain from voting in the first round. This bodes well for Le Pen. Her support base may be smaller, but they’re by far the angriest with the status quo, and therefore more devoted to the cause. They’ll absolutely show up to the polls. If Le Pen can get just 85% of her supporters to show up at the polls (average turnout is 80%), and if her opponent only gets 75% of his base out to vote, Le Pen will win the election. Le Pen voters are also the surest about casting a vote for their candidate. Many of the other candidates’ supporters lean more undecided, meaning there’s a higher chance they vote for a different candidate when it comes down to ballot day.
In general, there’s an unprecedented amount of indecision in this year’s elections. 43% of voters said they don’t know who they’ll vote for in the second round if their first round candidate loses. If those votes swing to Le Pen, she’ll likely win.