France is witnessing a surge in support for the far right, for the first time since the inauguration of the European Parliament.
The latest poll results, printed in French news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, show that 24 percent of French voters are prepared to vote for Marine Le Pen’s National Front party in the 2014 European elections.
The centre-right UMP would get 22 percent while the Socialists, headed by President François Hollande, would come third with 19 percent.
The results suggest a dramatic shift in feeling compared to the 2009 European elections when the national Front gained 6.34 percent.
However, not everybody is happy with the far right’s rising popularity. EU Commissioner Viviane Reding expressed her concern regarding the rising popularity of “extremism and populism” during a speech in the European Parliament on Wednesday:
“The rise of extremism and populism is a common concern to the whole of the EU, because it leads to racism, to the negation of the human being, to all forms of intolerance… It also endangers the values on which our Union is based, “
The Socialist government in France has seen its popularity continue to decline. Speaking about the poll results, French president François Hollande admitted that the European parliament would have a “large share of anti-Europeans” following the next election, and called it “a regression and a threat of paralysis.”
Edit: the text and the title of this article has been corrected on 10/10/2013 at 17:15CET. The title was previously “France: Exit polls suggest majority prepared to vote for far right”.