National Front’s ‘Ken and Barbie’ Ruse Set for Win: France’s Far Right Could Gain Another MP
The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is hoping for a political breakthrough in a parliamentary by-election in south-west France today. In a region which has been resistant to the far right, Ms Le Pen believes that her party’s so-called “Barbie and Ken” strategy can score a victory over the mainstream parties of both centre right and centre left.
A win for boyish, handsome “Ken lookalike” Etienne Bousquet-Cassagne, 23, would give the National Front (NF) a third National Assembly seat and ring alarm bells about possible victories in next year’s European elections for Ms Le Pen’s “sanitised” but still xenophobic party.
The political background could hardly be more favourable to the NF. The by-election in Villeneuve-sur-Lot has been forced by the resignation of a local former golden boy, Jérôme Cahuzac, the millionaire Socialist ex-budget minister who admitted this year that he had kept illegal, tax-evading bank accounts in Switzerland and Singapore for 20 years.