|France: Eric Zemmour Now Pulls Ahead of Marine Le Pen|
OCT 8, 2021 10:00 AM
BY HUGH FITZGERALD 22 COMMENTS
The latest Harris poll has just released its results, and Eric Zemmour, coming out of nowhere as a political figure, has pulled ahead of Marine Le Pen. The latest heartening news is here: “Zemmour seen breaking Macron-Le Pen duopoly in 2022 French election – poll,” Reuters, October 6, 2021:
The hard-right political talk-show star Eric Zemmour has gained more ground and would reach the second round runoff vote in France’s presidential election next April, a Harris Interactive opinion poll showed on Wednesday.
There is nothing that justifies calling Eric Zemmour, a classic old-fashioned free-market liberal, ”hard-right.” The epithet is affixed for one reason only: Zemmour is alarmed about the effect on France of the millions of Muslims now living in the country, whom he believes to be unassimilable and a danger to the French people and state. This puts one in mind of those who mislabeled the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, both a liberal and a libertine, as “far-right,” without the slightest evidence save his islamocriticism.
The poll is the first since Emmanuel Macron won the presidency in 2017 to upend the long-anticipated scenario of a repeat knockout contest between Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
A divisive figure who has made a career pushing the bounds of political correctness on subjects such as immigration and national identity, Zemmour has emerged in past months from the pack to become one of the most popular candidates.
Zemmour is maligned as a “divisive” figure because he dares to point out some home truths about Islam and Muslims. Muslims themselves, who divide the world uncompromisingly between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, who see themselves as the “best of peoples” and non-Muslims as “the most vile of created beings.” There is no more “divisive” figure in the history of the world than Muhammad.
The Harris Interactive poll showed Zemmour winning 17% (up 4 points on a late September “poll) of voter support, beating Le Pen on 15% and any one of the three challengers vying for the centre-right ticket.
Macron would best Zemmour 55%-45% in the second round, the poll showed. Macron beat Le Pen 66%-%34 in the run-off in 2017. The Harris Interactive poll showed Macron against Le Pen at 53%-47%, were she to get through this time.
Zemmour, 63, who holds convictions for inciting hatred, has not formally thrown his hat in the ring, but he is behaving every bit the challenger choosing his moment to act, describing himself as a “candidate in the debate”, quitting his prime-time chat-show spot to comply with electoral rules and publishing a book “France Has Not Yet Said Its Final Word”.
Zemmour’s “inciting hatred” amounts mostly to this: He declared on television that “French people with an immigrant background were profiled [in his book] because most traffickers are Blacks and Arabs… it is a fact.” Zemmour was supported by several personalities, including the founder of Reporters Without Borders and the Mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard.
On March 23, 2010, Zemmour wrote to the the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), explaining his views; he cited the book L’Islam dans les prisons by Farhad Khosrokhavar, which confirmed the figure of 70 or 80% of “Muslims in prison”; on receiving this letter, LICRA withdrew its legal proceedings against Zemmour.
Zemmour paints himself as a political outsider in tune with an alienated middle class and in his book draws parallels between himself and former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Zemmour doesn’t “paint himself” as a “political outsider.” He is a “political outsider.” He has not come up through the ranks; he’s been a writer, journalist, analyst, polemicist and both a television host and guest; he has never run for elective office.
The poll showed Macron beating all main challengers in the second round, including Xavier Bertrand. Bertrand is running against Valerie Pecresse, head of the Ile de France region, and former European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for the mainstream right ticket.
Zemmour now seems likely to defeat not only Le Pen, but also all the other possible rivals to Macron, including the center-right candidates Xavier Bertrand and Valérie Pécresse. In a Macron-Zemmour contest, Macron would at this point, according to the Harris poll, defeat Zemmour 55% to 45%. That means Zemmour needs to change the minds of just a little over 5% of the French electorate to win. Muslims now make up 8% of the French population, and about 5% of the electorate; presumably, almost all of the Muslims who bother to vote in France will vote for Macron. In other words, Zemmour could be kept from the Presidency – even if the majority of indigenous French supported him — by the Muslim vote alone. That’s a realization that should alarm non-Muslim voters, perhaps enough to scare them, despite the reluctance of some because of their distaste for his “conviction for incitement to racial hatred” (despite the fact that Muslims are not a “race” and that he has never preached or incited “hatred” of any group) into voting for Eric Zemmour. It may be the last time, given inexorable demographic changes, that the non-Muslim voters in France will be able to determine their own political destiny.