“We will block this liberal Europe that continually acts against the interests of the French people.”
Marine Le Pen
Leader of the Front National Party in France
Foreign citizens in Europe 2009 – Illustration: Jenny Ridley for the Guardian
Anti-immigration, anti-European Union far right National Front won a stunning victory in European parliament elections today in France. The National Front, led by Marine Le Pen won more than 25 percent of the vote, more than any other party. The ruling Socialists took third.
Marine Le Pen’s far right National Front scored a stunning first victory in European Parliament elections in France on Sunday as critics of the European Union registered a continent-wide protest vote against austerity and mass unemployment.
Without waiting for the final result, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls went on television to call the breakthrough by the anti-immigration, anti-euro party in one of the EU’s founding nations “an earthquake” for France and Europe.
Anti-establishment far right and hard left parties, their scores magnified by another low turnout, gained ground in many countries although in Germany, the EU’s biggest member state with the largest number of seats, the pro-European center ground held firm, according to exit polls.
A jubilant Le Pen, whose party beat President Francois Hollande’s ruling Socialists into third place, told supporters: “The people have spoken loud and clear… they no longer want to be led by those outside our borders, by EU commissioners and technocrats who are unelected.
“They want to be protected from globalization and take back the reins of their destiny.”