Jim Wolfreys

A Warning to Us All

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Although in the May 2003 local elections the British National Party (BNP) achieved the biggest fascist vote since the late 1970s - its 221 candidates polled around 100,000 votes - it failed to achieve the electoral breakthrough it had been hoping for.

The BNP won a total of 13 seats, seven of them in Burnley alone. In Sunderland none of its candidates were elected but the party won over 13,000 votes.

French Elections: Second Round Win--On Points

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Many commentators interpreted the mainstream right's victory in the French parliamentary elections in June as a return to normality after the shock of Le Pen's showing in the presidential election last April.

The big majority for president Chirac's UMP (Union pour la majorité présidentielle) coalition and the fact that the defeated Socialists achieved more or less the same vote as in the last general election of 1997 appeared to herald the recovery of the mainstream, apparently confirmed by the falling away of support for both the National Front (FN) and the revolutionary left since April.

French Election: Whither France?

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As polls closed after the first round of the French presidential election on 21 April exit polls were expected to confirm that the second round on 5 May would pit the incumbent prime minister, Lionel Jospin, against the outgoing president, Jacques Chirac.

Before the evening was out, however, Jospin had withdrawn from political life, Chirac had achieved the lowest ever score of a standing president and the shocking revelation that he was to face not a Socialist but the fascist candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round brought thousands of protesters onto the streets, sparking a nationwide wave of anti-fascist demonstrations which show no sign of letting up.

French Elections: A Watershed for the Revolutionary Left

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Whatever the result of the first round of this month's presidential election in France, the poll is certain to confirm the crisis of mainstream politics.

Although the current president, Jacques Chirac, and prime minister Lionel Jospin will probably contest the second round stand-off on 5 May, the election has so far been notable for two things. The first is the general indifference which has greeted the contest between the two frontrunners. Polls have shown that a clear majority of voters see no difference in policy between the Gaullist right winger Chirac and the Socialist Jospin, whose party governs as part of the 'plural left' coalition.

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