French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has opened up a commanding lead in France’s presidential election over moderates Nicolas Sarkozy and Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Le Pen is known for extreme anti-immigration rhetoric. His campaign bears strikings similarities to that of Donald Trump, which was built on blaming the problems “native” Americans on immigrants and minority groups. Le Pen’s rhetoric is so extreme that he was expelled from France’s far right establishment party in 2015.
It is feared that a Le Pen victory, closely following Trump’s electoral win and Brexit, would encourage nascent xenophobic, racist and nationalistic movements in Europe and the West. French progressives are closely following the political fall out of the Trump victory in the United States, paying particular attention to the response of the American left.