The Big Picture

France in Focus: Flirting with the far right

The third in a four-part series. A look at far-right populist influence on mainstream politics in France.

France has a long history of flirting with the far right.

In April 2022, Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally party, was President Emmanuel Macron’s closest challenger in the presidential election, gaining more than 40 percent of the vote.

Although she did not win, racist and Islamophobic ideas promoted by far-right parties now reverberate across French society.

In this episode of The Big Picture: France in Focus, we take a close look at what lies behind the far right’s appeal, and the effect on the people in its firing line.