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1 Apr, 2014 04:21

‘Vote for National Front is no longer a protest vote’ – Le Pen aide

The success of the French far-right in local elections shows that a vote for the National Front (FN) is no longer a protest vote as the party is being heard on subjects other than immigration, Ludovic De Danne, aide to FN leader Marine le Pen told RT.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his team resigned on Monday after the Socialist party's poor result in the elections. The cabinet will be headed by Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

"I have understood your message, it is clear," French President Francois Hollande said in a televised message, acknowledging the sluggish French economy 22 months after his election. "Not enough change and too much slowness. Not enough jobs and too much unemployment. Not enough social justice and too many taxes... I say it once again: we have to get our country back on the right track."

RT:Some major success for your party, what made it possible?

Ludovic De Danne: We’ve made a major improvement. In 2008 we had 85 local councilors, now we have more than 1,500 and we will be happy to rule more than 11 to 13 cities in France. This is due to the fact that we have been heard on other subjects than immigration and security. We have been heard on socioeconomic issues. We have been talking about the next future European elections, but on the local grounds it looks like citizens more and more want to give us a chance to be ruling and to do a better job than has been done by the actual parties in France.

RT:There has been success for the far right in other parts of Europe as well, are the reasons all the same?

LD: There is a general trend across Europe for patriotic parties as we call them and it is true that there will be a massive result in the next European elections we believe. Not only with us but with our future allies I guess.

RT:How do you respond to critics who say that you are running on the politics of hate?

LD: Well this is the usual demonization process, the point that is not working anymore, because as you can see the results in France, we’re making major improvements to the situation. We have brought young candidates or very experienced people. We are attracting a lot more elite than before; our campaigns are serious, responsible and professional, when you don’t have anybody else in front of you, the only good thing you want to say against somebody is to say that he is labeled as an extremist or hatred. Well, it’s not enough today, we can see that the government has been completely thrown up in these elections and that the Conservatives will not make it better work, or a better job and will not have very good results for the European elections.

RT:Do you accept that your success is mostly down to the protest vote, and your chances in the next parliamentary election are small?

LD: As I said in 2008, we had 85 local councilors, now we’ll have more than 1500 and ruling 10-13 cities. This is not a protest vote anymore, it is clearly something which has been deeply rooted and we have been running for these elections in several cities for years now, even for decades and now we are arriving to power. So the first step which is local elections is a very good result. The next step is going to be European elections and we are asking the French government that they will call for national elections beforehand because the situation is showing that we’re not represented anymore in the National Assembly.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.