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France: UMP crisis to benefit Front National?


Iphonista

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There are egos, there are political egos and then there are French political egos. In the ongoing civil war convulsing the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), it looks like neither side is going to back down and realistically, if anyone does at this stage, he will have lost a lot of face.

It all goes back to a controversial leadership contest early last month ostensibly won narrowly by Jean-Francois Copé. His rival, Francois Fillon, refuses to accept the result claiming that votes from overseas départments which, he says, weren't counted would have swung the result in his favour.

The socialist government should (at least privately) be laughing up their sleeves at this. The country is transfixed by the spectacle of the main opposition party tearing itself apart - Fillon has just set up a breakaway group in parliament called RUMP - Rassemblement pour la UMP - thereby distracting attention from the austerity policies of the Hollande administration.

However, even Hollande is calling for the row to end say that the country needed an effective opposition. Meanwhile, waiting somewhat further to the right is the Front National (FN) which is ready to position itself as the main opposition to the socialists. Its leader, Marine Le Pen is reporting a dramatic increase in requests to join her party. One opinion poll shows that the FN would be the big winner frome ongoing UMP drama.

Leadership row may cause UMP to split - The Irish Times - Fri, Nov 30, 2012
France's National Front smells opportunity as rivals feud- swissinfo
 

petaljam

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Oh, they're definitely going to split, I think - cant see how they can avoid it after all that bad feeling. But I don't see that Marine Le Pen will really benefit from it - it's more about who will get the centre voters. Before the presidential election, it would have been François Bayrou's dream come true, but he's a spent force now, I think.

Maybe Le Pen will get some ex-UMP voters, but her own party has split and resplit several times, sometimes very bitterly. So she can't make any claim to be above that sort of infighting.

I could be wrong of course!
 

Iphonista

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Perhaps. If the FN can be believed, they're seeing a huge surge in membership.
 

petaljam

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Perhaps. If the FN can be believed, they're seeing a huge surge in membership.
It's true that the UMP was created as a sort of block that was meant to create a rampart to prevent the FN from becoming mainstream, and it's also true that Marine Le Pen, unlike her father, likes to cultivate a "reasonable", very middle class image. (They're actually millionaires of course, her father was left a fortune in rather dubious circumstances by a rich widow).

She set out to make the FN acceptable. No more anti-Semitic jokes of the sort Jean-Marie used to crack. And it's been having an effect, long before the UMP's prolonged double suicide made them a laughing stock.

So as I say, maybe it's true that there is an extra effect just now, but I think it's more the fact that the whole of the French right -wing is going to split up and recompose (yet again!) and Marine Le Pen wants to profit from that. So you could hardly expect them to do other than to announce how well they are already doing from it. It's called spin, I believe.
 

forest

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before the UMP was set up who or what was the main center right party?
 

stopdoingstuff

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They can elect whoever they want but that country is going nowhere fast. They just can't compete any more and that's that.
 

Skypeme

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Viva Marine LePen and the FN! Let's hope they are gaining ground :)
Don't feed the trolls - this thread so far looks remarkably like a 'sock puppet' exchange.:roll:

Just another opportunity to 'slag off' the 'fash', as they see it.
 

Iphonista

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Don't feed the trolls - this thread so far looks remarkably like a 'sock puppet' exchange.:roll:

Just another opportunity to 'slag off' the 'fash', as they see it.
Oh well, do please name and shame! The suspense is killing me.
 

Iphonista

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Don't feed the trolls - this thread so far looks remarkably like a 'sock puppet' exchange.:roll:

Just another opportunity to 'slag off' the 'fash', as they see it.
Come on, Skypeme! What's keeping you?
 

FloatingVoterTralee

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Yes, UMP is basically a renamed RPR, through all the various incarnations since '58, it has fundamentally been a Gaullist party. Can't see FN gaining anything from this, partly because the French employ first-past-the-past, and secondly, in a close contest, the triangulaire system, or three-way runoff is used, meaning that left-wing voters will effectively vote for the least conservative option in right-wing constituencies. Bayrou's MoDem are a busted flush, so the Greens are currently the leading centrist option.
 

Clanrickard

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Yes, UMP is basically a renamed RPR, through all the various incarnations since '58, it has fundamentally been a Gaullist party. Can't see FN gaining anything from this, partly because the French employ first-past-the-past, and secondly, in a close contest, the triangulaire system, or three-way runoff is used, meaning that left-wing voters will effectively vote for the least conservative option in right-wing constituencies. Bayrou's MoDem are a busted flush, so the Greens are currently the leading centrist option.
The Greens haven't a hope. Copé is the front runner and he is almost as hardline on issues like immigration and Islam and Le Pen.
 

southwestkerry

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The best and worst thing I can say about France and their Politicians is... a bit like their cars. Grand for about a year when new then....
SWK
 

petaljam

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The Greens haven't a hope. Copé is the front runner and he is almost as hardline on issues like immigration and Islam and Le Pen.
Agree that the Greens are probably nowhere, but your "Copé is the front runner" sounds like a headline from 2 weeks ago. Have you missed the whole point of the OP?

Copé and Fillon are both figures of ridicule now. If the UMP party system allowed it, a third candidate (X Bertrand fancies himself apparently) would probably walk it over both of them. I don't think that will be allowed to happen though, not yet.
 

Iphonista

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Yes, UMP is basically a renamed RPR, through all the various incarnations since '58, it has fundamentally been a Gaullist party. Can't see FN gaining anything from this, partly because the French employ first-past-the-past, and secondly, in a close contest, the triangulaire system, or three-way runoff is used, meaning that left-wing voters will effectively vote for the least conservative option in right-wing constituencies. Bayrou's MoDem are a busted flush, so the Greens are currently the leading centrist option.
The Greens? Centrist??
 

Iphonista

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Don't feed the trolls - this thread so far looks remarkably like a 'sock puppet' exchange.:roll:

Just another opportunity to 'slag off' the 'fash', as they see it.
So, Skypeme... you were talking through your backside. Do you do that often?

I'm sending you this post as a PM just so you see it and everyone here knows you've seen it.
 

Skypeme

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So, Skypeme... you were talking through your backside. Do you do that often?
Is that a denial?

I'm sending you this post as a PM just so you see it and everyone here knows you've seen it.
And I'm certain that "everyone" will be suitably impressed with your articulate and carefully crafted response.
 

Iphonista

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Is that a denial?

And I'm certain that "everyone" will be suitably impressed with your articulate and carefully crafted response.
It's a denial on my part. If you're going to name me, you'll be lying through your teeth.

Now, give us the names. Simple request.
 
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