The rout was so monumental that the election day is being described as the government’s “Black Sunday.” Not only did Hollande’s radical Socialist Party get crushed, losing more than 150 major towns mostly to the “right”-leaning opposition, analysts say the primary beneficiary of the landslide was probably the hysterically demonized anti-EU National Front.
When Hollande and his fellow socialists squeaked into power by a small margin in 2012, they made grandiose promises — vowing to seize even more wealth to redistribute from the “rich,” hiking taxes on the “wealthy” to 75 percent, drowning businesses in ever-greater deluges of regulations, and more. Instead of resulting in a new utopia, however, the plans, as has been historically true of all socialist political endeavors, backfired, and big time. Among other problems, the policy shifts sparked soaring unemployment, huge numbers of business failures, record-setting plunges in foreign investment, as well as a quickly-growing exodus of wealthy, productive, and ambitious citizens to more liberty-friendly jurisdictions.
French voters, who were never particularly enamored with their Socialist Party rulers anyway, responded in Sunday’s local elections with what is being described by some analysts as a “tsunami.” Indeed, polls cited in media reports show that some 80 percent of French voters dislike Hollande, whose administration has been plagued with scandals beyond even the economic devastation it intensified. With former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), traditionally the other establishment party, reeling from its own scandals, respected analysts said the election results largely reflect public fury with the entire French ruling establishment.
“What we are seeing is a Gallic shrug on a shuddering scale: a cynical, bitter, grumpy and yet faintly bored rejection of the entire political class,” explained liberty-minded author Daniel Hannan, a pro-national sovereignty member of the European Parliament (MEP) with the surging U.K. Independence Party. “Can you blame them? Unemployment is over three million and there is no prospect of an economic recovery. Only 40 per cent of French people are in work of any kind.... The French state last ran a surplus in 1974. The money has run out.”
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