Internet InfoMedia why more french youth are voting for the far right
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Most young people in France usually don’t vote or they back the left. That is still true, but support has surged for the far right, whose openly racist past can feel to them like ancient history.

In the 1980s, a French punk rock band coined a rallying cry against the country’s far right that retained its punch over decades. The chant, still shouted at protests by the left, is “La jeunesse emmerde le Front National,” which cannot be translated well without curse words, but essentially tells the far right to get lost.

That crude battle cry is emblematic of what had often been conventional wisdom not only in France, but also elsewhere — that young people frequently tilt left in their politics. Now, that notion has been challenged as increasing numbers of young people have joined swaths of the French electorate to support the far-right National Rally, a party once deemed too extreme to govern.

The results from Sunday’s parliamentary vote, the first of a two-part election, showed young people across the political spectrum coming out to cast ballots in much greater numbers than in previous years. A majority of them voted for the left. But one of the biggest jumps was in the estimated numbers of 18-to-24-year-olds who cast ballots for the National Rally, in an election that many say could reshape France.

A quarter of the age group voted for the party, according to a recent poll by the Ifop polling institute, up from 12 percent just two years ago.

There is no one reason for such a significant shift. The National Rally has tried to sanitize its image, kicking out overtly antisemitic people, for instance, who shared the deep-seated prejudice of the movement’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen. And the party’s anti-immigrant platform resonates for some who see what they consider uncontrolled migration as a problem.

Young people at an anti-far-right gathering in Paris after the results of the first round of the parliamentary elections.

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