August 1, 2019
MARINE LE PEN and her National Rally have experienced a seismic shift in support coming towards it from the armed services since the 2012 French presidential election.
Marine Le Pen continues to emphasise a need for more investment in the security services, an end to french participation in conflicts which are not in the national interest, and for tighter security measures to protect the french public from terrorist threats.
Ifop (Institut français d’ opinion publique) polling, one the oldest and most accurate polling firms on the European continent, conducted a study on the voting patterns among the French security services since the 2012 election. Members of the armed services in France are restricted from revealing their political affiliation. For this reason, Ifop analysed the voting patterns in areas with substantial military presence.
Conducted for the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, the Ifop research showed that in communes with military installations, the National Rally took as much as half the vote, and in some cases even more. Yet in the department-wide vote totals in which the communes are located, the National Rally’s share of the vote was considerably lower.
During the 2019 European Union elections, the National Rally received 50.4% of the vote in the commune of Mailly-le-Camp, which is the home of a prominent military base. Whereas the National Rally’s share of the vote in the department as a whole was 33.4%, which is seventeen percentage points lower.
This result was not a singular event in Mailly-le-Camp, as a steady increase in support since 2012 took place. From 34.1% in the first round of the presidential election in 2012, to 44.7% in the 2014 European Union election, to an astounding 53.7% in the 2015 regional elections, and then 41.4% in the first round of the 2017 presidential election. Culminating in 50.4% in the EU election this year.
The rise in support from the 2014 EU election to the 2019 election to the European Union is noteworthy given that support for the National Rally decreased by two percentage points nationally while increasing by 5.7% from 44.7% to 50.4% in Mailly-le-Camp.
Ifop’s research unveiled that support for the centre-right Republican Party decreased in all of the communes which were studied. Where’as support for the National Rally progressed. This points to a shift in the right-wing military vote moving further away from the centre-right, and towards the nationalists.
Mailly-le-Camp is a prime example of this fall in the centre-right vote, particularly since the first round of the 2017 presidential election. The candidate for The Republicans, François Fillon, obtained 25.9% in 2017. His party then experienced a 15.5% decline in support to a mere 10.4% in the commune in the EU election of 2019.
French security services have been known to support Le Pen for some time, given that an Ifop study conducted in 2017 revealed that an estimated 51% of the gendarmes, the armed police of France, were likely to vote for Marine Le Pen in his presidential bid.
The Versailles gendarme barracks only houses the gendarmes and their immediate families. Versailles’ barracks is a voting area where Le Pen managed to secure 46.1% of the vote in the first round of the 2012 presidential election. This was astronomically higher than the 17% obtained nationwide and far higher than the 10.7% she managed to garner in Versailles as a whole.
“Office 46, located on Boulevard Kellermann in the 13th arrondissement, where guards are voting Republican (and their families) of the cantoned Kellermann barracks regiment, is the one wherein the presidential 2012, Marine Le Pen had obtained its highest score in the entire capital (18.3%). We can certainly think that the location of this office (near the ring road) contributed to this strong RN vote, which in Paris gets precisely its best results in offices located at the gates of the capital.” – Ifop.
Corsica’s military hub is also a point of strength for the National Rally. In the commune of Ventiseri, which is the home of an airbase, Le Pen’s party garnered 43% of the vote in the EU elections of 2019. Where’as in the rest of Upper Corsica, the party won with 26.5%.
Corsica’s overall showing for the National Rally was significant given that this was the first time the National Rally had won both of the Corsican departments in a national election. Ironically, the 26.5% victory in Upper Corsica was more than sixteen percentage points lower than the 43% obtained at the Ventiseri military installation.
The National Rally list for the 2019 EU election, led by Jordan Bardella, had a remarkably strong showing in and around the prisons of key importance.
“In parallel with what we observed for the military, other municipalities with relatively low population, but including on their territory a penitentiary establishment (whose agents represent therefore a significant part of the electorate even if all do not reside in the municipality where is implanted prison), allow to observe a localized frontal override, which would indicate an inclination also marked for the RN of the penitentiary staff. So in the Aube, Jordan Bardella’s list has obtained 50.7% of the votes in Ville-sous-la-Ferté, where the Clairvaux prison is located, compared to an average 33.4%. This establishment employs 200 civil servants and the municipality has 621 registered.” – Ifop.
The centralisation of support for the National Rally among the military, the gendarme, and the prison officials shows a growing tendency among the security services in France to move further to the right. The servicemen that make-up the body of these organisations feel that the internal security of the Fifth Republic is under threat. Otherwise, they would not vote for the National Rally in such numbers.
This article was posted: Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 6:44 am