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These figures were important because they were a sharp departure from earlier forecasts about the election proper. According to a Kantar/Sofres/OnePoint poll released on March 19 by Le Figaro and LCI, both Macron and Le Pen were supposed to get 26 per cent of the vote on the first ballot, with Fillon on only 17 per cent, and both Melenchon and Hamon on 12 per cent. In the wake of the TV debate, it seemed that Macron had taken off decidely, Le Pen lost ground, Fillon recovered, and Mélenchon had taken over as the sole leader of the Left. While it was previously assumed that a Le Pen-Macron duel would take place on the second and final presidential ballot, and might have produced a 60 per cent victory for Macron, a Macron-Fillon duel was now conceivable, and a Fillon victory could not be ruled out. Even a Macron-Mélenchon scenario could be considered. A lot was likely to depend on the second debate, to be scheduled between the two ballots.

Why did the old political guard collapse? Why did the rebels win? It was, first and foremost, a matter of neglected issues: Muslim immigration and the drift towards a two-tier society. At the same time, the old guard did not realise that confidence in the electoral system, and thus in the political system as a whole, was rapidly eroding.

“We have a problem with Islam, it’s a fact,” President Hollande admitted in Un président ne devrait pas dire ça . . . (Things A President Should Not Say), the 635-page confession, co-authored with journalists Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, he published last winter after deciding not to run for reelection.The French Muslim community is the largest and fastest-growing in Europe. In 50 years, from 1967 to 2017, the population of the Republic of France (including the overseas territories, which are as French as Hawaii and Alaska are American) grew from 50 million to 67 million, a 34 per cent increase. Meanwhile, the Muslim population has grown, either naturally or as a result of migrational trends, from one million or so to five or six million at least: that is to say a 500-600 per cent increase. As for the ratio of Muslims to the global population, it grew from 2 per cent to 7-9 per cent. No other European nation experienced such a dramatic change in its ethnic and religious fabric, even if some of them — Germany and Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries — are not far behind.

The real impact of Muslim immigration is even bigger in generational terms: the younger the population, the higher the proportion of Muslims. While less than one tenth of French citizens were Muslims in the early 2010s, the proportion was one-fifth for French citizens or residents under 24 nationwide, and even higher in some places. A 2015 Ipsos investigation in the Greater Marseilles area found that 25.5 per cent of local youths in their mid-teens identified as Muslim. Similar figures were to be found in all other big cities, where most of the population lives. Unless trends are reversed, by 2050 — some 30 years from now — France may thus look like India or Israel (non-Muslim countries with large Muslim communities), if not indeed like Lebanon (a Muslim country with a large Christian minority).

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April 15th, 2017
2:04 AM
Open primaries followed by runoff elections between the top two vote-getters is pretty common in the USA. It does work.

Empress Trudy
April 14th, 2017
1:04 PM
There is pretty obviously no more political space within which Jews can navigate in France anymore. Just as they started flocking to Le Pen she let slip the mask that the new FN is little different than the old one. The socialists don't want them, the Muslims want them dead, and everyone else on the spectrum is playing for time until the whole country implodes.

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