Marine Le Pen can be excused for thinking her time has come. With six months to go until France’s presidential election, the left-wing government of François Hollande has produced only one winner, and it is her. She’s providing the Gallic contribution to the insurgent charge epitomised elsewhere by Brexit and Donald Trump.
France, the home of joie de vivre, has become an introverted place whose citizens fear their nation has lost its way. It is an existential challenge, in the birthplace of existentialism, that the mainstream right is failing to answer.
Le Pen, on the other hand, says she has all the answers — and, despite the questionable nature of many of her remedies, up to a third of the electorate appears to agree.