Patrick Marnham

France’s fight on the right

The Front National leader is heading into an election where immigration is the main issue – and the majority of voters are hostile to it

A year has passed since Nicolas Sarkozy announced his return to frontline politics, and the political landscape in France is still recovering from the shock. His rivals for the leadership of the French right have watched while their cordially disliked ex-leader consistently outmanoeuvred them. They had made the mistake of believing in the sincerity of Sarko’s farewell speech in May 2012 when, following his defeat in the presidential election by François Hollande, he said: ‘From now on I will seek to serve my country in other spheres.

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