France: Cleaning up the political mess after the earthquake

On Monday 26th May, France woke up shocked after the political earthquake it experienced with the result of the European Parliament elections. The French left, the Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste, PS) reached a poor 14% of the votes, while the right (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire, UMP) scored 21%; the most striking performance however was the 25% score of the ever stronger far-right party, the Front National, (FN). The result had been forecasted in polls during the months preceding the vote. Contrary to the presidential elections of 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round against Jacques Chirac, the rise of the FN was not a big surprise, but still a shocking development. After a little more than a week, the blast of the election results has faded and the press moves on to make its headlines on political scandals concerning the UMP. It seems that there is a lot to do to clean up this electoral and political mess ? but what and whose mess is this?

Read more below in this article by Pauline Lucas, European Public Affairs:

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