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The problem is that the target audience for the Front de Gauche is largely the same as the Front National, in much the same way that Bernie Sanders appeals to many of the same votes that Donald Trump appeals to.
He was polling well, in the high to mid- teens, and then came the barrage of attacks on Marine Le Pen, which had the unfortunate effect of insulting a good number of his own potential voters.
We see similar dynamics elsewhere.
He finished at 11%.
Mélenchon was actively trying to beat Marine Le Pen into fourth place, he wanted to beat her, not win enough votes to make it to the second round. And, he attacked her, for nativism and for not being credible on jobs and on the economic front. He was really going after her, personally, at the end.
And I think if a voter has already given thought and consideration to supporting a candidate, only to hear how ridiculous that candidate is from another candidate who is also aiming to get your vote, you are not necessarily doing yourself any favors.
But Trump is a completely different beast from the National Front. A bald-faced demogogue, and proud of it and his ability to connect with the most nativist portions of the electorate. This case is far harder to make for Marine Le Pen, whose growing support is not coming from the "dead-end" demographic as in the US, but rather, the youth vote, where she is doing really very well.
However those attacking or satirising him should take care to drive a wedge between him and his supporters. Appearing to attack his supporters as well as him is the worst thing you can do if you hope to demobilise his base. It will only consolidate them behind him.
His supporters are probably especially sensitive to being written off as dead end, low intelligence, poorly educated, losers. Paying them exaggerated (but not patronising) respect whilst highlighting how he disrespects them is probably the most effective line of attack.
Index of Frank's Diaries
Working class people used to be a reliable vote for Labour in the 70s who became the 80s thatcherite working classes. Now in the 21st century they are moving on to ukip. Yet Labour still believe that these people should be voting for them and barrack ukip in ways that continue to alienate the very electorate they seek to woo.
The problem for Labour is that they never understood why these people deserted them in the first place and continues to fail to see why ukip can be so attractive to a group of people who, on the face of it, seem to have so little to gain from voting for the right.
keep to the Fen Causeway
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