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No one was fooled by the defeat of France’s far-right party, the National Front, in the country’s December regional elections. The party, led by Marine Le Pen, had won the most votes in the first round of the election on December 6. Although it ran a fairly tight race in the runoff a week later, it failed to win in any of the country’s 13 regions. The margins were close, and as Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls exclaimed after the election results came in, “Tonight, no sigh of relief, no sign of triumphalism… The danger of the far right is still around.”

For her part, Le Pen knows that to make a serious bid for power at next year’s presidential and legislative elections, she must appeal to France’s more moderate middle-class voters. Since the December regional election, the party has introduced a new slogan—La France apaisé

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