Marine Le Pen has announced her candidature in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region in the north of France during elections to be held on 6 and 13 December 2015, assuming a lead in the polls. If she is successful, her party, the Front National, will control an entire region in France for the first time.
According to an opinion poll for Le Figaro – LCI which was conducted by OpinionWay, she will win both the first and second rounds of the election, finishing with 5 percentage points more than her immediate, centrist rival, Xavier Bertrand of The Republicans.
Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie used to be a Socialist area, but with rising joblessness and the problems with a refugee camp in the coastal town of Calais, support for the the Socialist Party has waned, with many voters now placing their hopes for a better life in Marine Le Pen’s Front National.
In announcing her candidature, Le Pen said that she could “immediately make a difference on the regional level and on the national level a bit later”, referring to her ambition to become the French president during the election of 2017. Asked why she hesitated until today to announce her candidature in the region, she said that “many people thought that my regional candidacy would clash with my presidential candidacy” but that she felt it imcumbent upon her to get involved in the “great and beautiful region”.