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How Marine Le Pen Threatens to Upend French Elections

By Norimitsu Onishi, Constant Méheut

07 Apr 2022 · 6 min read

Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader making her third attempt to become president of France, already had the backing of voters who came to listen to her recently in Stiring-Wendel, a former coal-mining town struggling to reinvent itself.

But after a 40-minute speech focusing on the rising cost of living, Le Pen succeeded in doing what even few of her supporters would have predicted just months ago: impressing them. Voters trickling out of an auditorium into the cold evening said she had become “less extreme,” more “mature” and “self-assured” — even “presidential.”

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