Here’s what a Trump win means for the far-right in France

The growing support for right-wing views across the U.S. and Europe might not mean that the leader of France's far-right Front National party might become the country's next president, an analyst told CNBC.

In a post-Brexit and post-Trump-win world, there is a growing consensus that right-wing and populist parties are gaining ground, and France isn't an exception. The far-right populist Front National has been gathering support in regional elections and polls show its leader, Marine Le Pen, winning the first round of the 2017 presidential election.

Though one shouldn't underestimate the election outcome -- after all, polls failed to spot a win for Brexit and Donald Trump -- the French election system should prevent Le Pen from getting the president's seat, Emily Mansfield, from the Economist Intelligence Unit, told CNBC on Thursday.

"I think we have to be very careful not to have an immediate reaction after seeing Trump win and assume that Le Pen will also win in France. It's a very different system," she said.

There are two voting rounds to select a new French president. The second round is a battle between two candidates and one of them needs to have above 50 percent of the votes to be elected. At the moment, Le Pen is gathering about 30 percent of voting intentions, according to several polls.

"It would be a big shift particularly given that in France the center-left and the center-right tend to unite to keep the far-right out," Mansfield said, explaining that more moderate parties have joined forces to block the emergence of the Front National, often associated with racist views.

According to Mansfield, France tends to see a higher turnout than the U.S., which also makes it less likely to register a surprise in voting intentions.


Marine Le Pen
Pascal Le Segretain | Getty Images

Prime Minister Manuel Valls of France, a potential candidate to the presidency, noted Thursday that France is facing a "potentially perilous moment" because of the far right.

During his trip to Berlin Valls called on France and Germany to be open to the world, but they can only do that if they are able to say who can and cannot enter their borders.

Immigration is one of the most contentious issues in the upcoming French election, mainly after suffering three major terrorist attacks in a bit more than a year.

"Terrorism and how to improve security is top of the agenda," Mansfield told CNBC.

"Addressing immigration, addressing what Marine Le Pen describes as the 'Islamafication of the French society' is another issue…There's also of course the economy but that's sort of taking a back seat compared to this sort of identity politics," she added.

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