Towards the median economic crisis voter? The new leftist economic agenda of the Front National in France

Abstract : The Front National (FN) has made an impressive come back into France’s electoral politics since 2012. Adopting a supply-side approach, this article places the electoral rejuvenation of the FN in the context of the global crisis and looks at how the party has adapted programmatically to socio-economic demands emerging from this context. On the basis of manifesto data analysis, we find that despite having recently broadened its economic programme, the FN maintains a niche status in the party system. Our findings show, however, that the party has significantly shifted its economic platform, moving from a predominantly right-wing to a left-wing location since the mid-1980s. This move is characterized by an increase in egalitarian and nationalist economic policies, espousing also a populist framework. The reconfiguration of the FN suggests that the party may have moved to a pivotal position in recent years by converging around the economic preferences of the median voter. We discuss the role of internal and external factors in explaining the economic policy shift by the FN, and consider possible implications of our findings for understanding current populist radical right electoral dynamics in Europe.
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Gilles Ivaldi. Towards the median economic crisis voter? The new leftist economic agenda of the Front National in France. French Politics, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 13 (4), pp.346-369. ⟨https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/fp.2015.17⟩. ⟨10.1057/fp.2015.17⟩. ⟨halshs-01385779⟩

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