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French Electoral Theory: The National Front Test
Electoral Studies (1993)
  • Michael S Lewis-Beck, University of Iowa
  • Glenn E Mitchell, II, Florida State University
The National Front (FN) has become a serious force in the French electoral arena. What has brought voters to this extreme-right alternative? We first try to cast the explanation in terms of traditional variables orienting the French voter—class, religion, region, ideology. Analysis of these cleavages has virtually no utility along the lines of class or religion. However, there is some relationship to region and, with respect to the ideological variable, FN supporters sharply distinguish themselves from other right wing partisans (RPR and UDF). Their far-right ideology has an issue base, resting broadly on the ‘materialist’ values of law and order, and economic wellbeing. In particular, it is the issues of crime, immigration, and unemployment (taken together in a pattern of statistical interaction), that manage largely to account for National Front support. These issues, as they persist, transform the meaning of right, or at least extreme-right, ideological identification. The French electorate continues to be anchored by left-right ideology, but its content is undergoing change.
Publication Date
June, 1993
Citation Information
Michael S Lewis-Beck and Glenn E Mitchell, II. "French Electoral Theory: The National Front Test" Electoral Studies Vol. 12 Iss. 2 (1993)
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