America is not the only country facing political discontent. Around the world, voters are revolting against the status quo. These votes don’t always swing right or left, but they are increasingly choosing outsiders over insiders. The recent election in France saw presidential contenders face off from Front National, an outsider nationalist party, and La Republique en Marche! (Republic Onwards!). Both the traditional parties, the Socialists, and Les Republicains, were shut out of the presidential run off between Marine Le Pen (FN) and Emmanuel Macron (En Marche!). A similar situation occured recently in Austria, where Norbert Hofer of the FPO, a nationalist party, squared off against Alexander Van der Bellen, an independent.
And it’s not a far stretch to say that the election of Donald Trump by American voters was a repudiation of both major parties. Despite being a registered Republican, Trump is no dogmatic conservative.
Now France’s national assembly will also be controlled by En Marche, and a new era in French politics has arisen. The question is, will France’s traditional parties survive and push back, or be subsumed by En Marche for good? Nick Kostov and William Horobin write in the WSJ:
France’s new National Assembly will stand in contrast to its peers in Europe, where traditional parties still have a firm grip on power. In the U.K., the Conservatives and Labour Party got a combined 82% in the general election this month. In Germany, the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats are each forecast to get more than 25% of the vote in September general elections.
If France’s traditional parties are to survive, they will have to rebuild from the regional and local levels where they still have a presence, analysts say.
“Despite being extremely weakened they remain the parties that have by far the greatest number of elected officials if you look at all echelons. That doesn’t vanish overnight,” said Philippe Marlière, a professor of French politics at University College London.
Read more here.