France runs along the lines of two major political parties, and a couple of small parties with marginal significance. Well....at least until the last year or two.
The National Front.....the Le Pen Party.....went through a surge in the 1970s and 1980s....then dropped in public interest with it's leadership about a decade ago. Jean-Marie Le Pen kinda resigned his position about a decade, and in the last couple of years....his daughter has stepped into the party. Marine Le Pen.....is rebuilding interest in the party.
The key positions? Well....the National Front wants protectionist policies to keep jobs in France, instead of sending them off to China. The National Front has a attitude about immigration.....there's a limit and the country has to say 'no' at some point. There's also some direct belief in law enforcement, and enforcing the laws on the books....rather than making new laws. Economically? They aren't happy with the big banks and the behavior they've shown over the last decade.
Sounds familiar? Yes, it's the Tea Party....just in a different flavor.
How popular is the National Front? That's the odd question. The two major parties are downplaying the National Front and hinting that this is just disenchantment by a small part of society. The firm belief is that there 50,000 members to the party and maybe half-a-million folks across the nation that might throw their votes to such a party.
For general numbers, there were 32-odd million votes in France for the 2012 election. Half-a-million votes shifting around....wouldn't matter much. Course, if the real number was close to five million votes, and taking from both the left and right parties....then there's a problem for the two big parties.
The labels attached to the National Front? Well....that's a curious thing. Most of the radical and extreme labels that the Tea Party gets.....are the same that the National Front get. Racist? Same label too. Threat to stability? Yes, same label.
Other countries in Europe with Tea Party-like parties? At least six other countries have notable parties in existence, and expanding. None are taking over a nation's politics.....but once you get up to around fifteen percent of the national vote.....you start to worry the real politically entrenched parties.