It's funny how many people defile and denigrate the name of the FrenchFront National, and in particular the name of Marine Le Pen, when close to 20% of the French electorate vote for her in the first round of the presidential election
The first round is traditionally the place people can place their protest votes, but it's becoming less and less certain to what extent it's a protest and to what point it's an actual adhesion.
It's definitely a case of her saying stuff which is too painful but too true to deny.
Of course there's other stuff she says which many consider unacceptable, but after her father making the second round of the French election a few years ago, and her evident softening on certain sensitive positions - a woman's touch? - we're seeing a definite change in the political climate.
And given Sarkozy's constant negation of most of her views, although less this time than five years ago, and the left's obvious antagonism, it looks like she'll be asking for a vote blanche, as a public indication of disgust - it turns out that the last thing the FN wants, necessarily, is a victory for Sarkozy's right. Paradoxical but true. What would they have to win? Not much.
But if the left win, the FN can fight it out with Sarkozy's UMP for the crown of the political right in France. And when you lose an election, there's no saying what might happen, including implosion, and the FN would be rubbing their hands at the potential fall-out, such as high-profile politicians of just the sort they're lacking, defecting, tempted by the call of potential power. No lying...