My first post on the French elections has somehow disappeared. I don’t know what happened to it, but it was about how I was worried about Le Pen making it to the second round and that I didn’t think that Sarkozy was taking as many votes from the FN as people thought.
Since then, Le Pen only managed to get 11 percent of the vote, a welcome surprise. I don’t think, however, that this is due to fewer people voting for him. I think, rather, that it’s because there was an increase of almost 3.5 million people registered to vote, and voter turnout was something like 27 percent higher than it was in 2002. (I can’t find the exact figure, but I remember it being around 60 percent in 2002, compared to 87 percent this time.)
So I think that people who vote Front National generally vote, whereas the young and the poor and communities “issus de l’immigration” who don’t usually vote and aren’t likely to vote for Le Pen probably made up a considerable proportion of newly registered voters and voters who voted this time but didn’t in 2002.