In France, Trump’s win was immediately seen as possible harbinger of a far-right victory in the country’s upcoming 2017 presidential election, which analysts now say could represent a third chapter in a string of stunning populist upheavals.
“It’s a divine surprise for the National Front,” said Dominique Moïsi, a co-founder of the French Institute for International Relations. “Suddenly the possibility that after Brexit and after Trump there could be Marine Le Pen is striking the French.”
Le Pen, the outspoken leader of the National Front, is still not favored to win the French election. There are two comparatively moderate conservative candidates, Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy, who could serve as buffers against the far-right. And polls consistently show that her approval rating among voters hovers around 28 percent.
But that could change, especially if more young people — famously apathetic in France — vote in the upcoming presidential election. In regional elections last December, for instance, 35 percent of voters aged 18 to 24 supported the National Front, according to the Ipsos polling agency. If, for instance, more of the 65 percent of the young people who sat out the last election vote in the 2017 primaries, Le Pen could become a much more formidable contender.
Early Wednesday morning, Le Pen did not wait for the results to be announced before tweeting her congratulations to Donald Trump, “and to the American people, free!” she wrote.
“We will say that we are more reasonable than the Americans,” said Moisi. “But we cannot be totally sure about that.”