Saturday, October 31, 2015

Marine Le Pen and the Jewish Vote

Jérôme Fourquet has taken up the question of the Jewish vote for the FN in As Fourquet himself points out, this is a difficult question to investigate, because ethnic statistics are hard to come by in France and major polling organizations do not break down results along ethnic lines. Hence inferences about ethnic group voting patterns have to be inferred indirectly from precinct-level electoral results and known residential patterns. The results are never as clear as one might like. Nevertheless, Fourquet concludes that there has been a modest but discernible increase of Jewish support for the Front National as Marine Le Pen has shifted the party's discourse to downplay antisemitic themes and to emphasize concerns about "insecurity" at home and support for Israel abroad. As Jewish-Muslim tensions increase in France, so does Jewish support for the Front National. At the same time, as Fourquet is careful to note, the Jewish vote for the FN remains below the national average and largely confined to specific urban areas where Jewish-Muslim tensions have been particularly high.