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Europe’s salience and ‘owning’ Euroscepticism: Explaining the Front National’s victory in the 2014 European elections in France

Authors
  • Goodliffe, Gabriel1
  • 1 Departamento de Estudios Internacionales, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Río Hondo 1, Colonia Progreso Tizapán, DF 06140, México , (Mexico)
Type
Published Article
Journal
French Politics
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication Date
Nov 04, 2015
Volume
13
Issue
4
Pages
324–345
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1057/fp.2015.19
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

This article explains the victory of the Front National (FN) in the May 2014 European elections in France. Taking issue with standard academic accounts that conceive of the latter as ‘second-order’ elections, it argues that the FN won by harnessing voters’ growing anxiety about European integration as an electoral issue. First, the article contends that, on the backdrop of worsening unemployment and social crisis, Europe assumed unprecedented salience in both national and European elections. In turn, it argues that by staking out a Europhobe position in contrast to the mainstream parties and the radical left, the FN claimed effective ‘ownership’ over the European issue, winning the bulk of the Eurosceptic vote to top the electoral field.

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