I opined the other day that one reason for the rising FN vote is a decline of public services as a result of Sarkozy's decision not to replace one in two retiring civil servants. This hypothesis is confirmed by various statements collected by 20 Minutes. First-time FN voters say they switched because they've had it with government failures ranging from poor snow-plowing to ill-planned bus lines. There's one source of irritation I hadn't anticipated, however: one vote canvasser observes that "people get fined for letting their dog poop where it shouldn't and they vote FN."
This of course tends to have a snowball effect: as more and more people vote FN in order to protest declining government service (or overzealous animal control officers), their neighbors look around and see that some FN voters aren't racists, xenophobes, and nostalgics for le Maréchal. The party gradually loses its toxic image. Indeed, at the moment, Marine Le Pen is sounding a good deal less toxic than any number of people around Nicolas Sarkozy. Is it any wonder that the Right is in disarray? (h/t FLN)