The National Front is a right-wing populist and nationalist political party in France. Today, it is one of the most popular french political parties and its leader Marine Le Pen is one of the possible winners of presidential elections 2017. However, the National Front has a secret weapon – Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, Marine’s niece.

Marion Le Pen’s, Marine’s niece and a very conservative-minded politician is a rising star in France’s National Front party. At the age of 27 years, Marion is the youngest member of the National Front and the absolutely youngest supported by the french population political figure in the modern history.

The ‘new’ Le Pen’s biography

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the youngest MP and, according to predictions, the next party’s leader, is the granddaughter of National Front (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of current FN president Marine Le Pen. Marion was born on the 10 of December 1989 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, Île-de-France. Till 2012 she’s been studying public business law at the Panthéon-Assas University in Paris. However, on 14 November 2012, she made a statement that she’ll put aside her studies in order to dedicate herself to political activities of the National Front.

In her early youth, Marion began to show her interest in politics. ‘Contrary to what everyone thinks, in my family, we didn’t talk about politics at home and we were free to make our own choices. I became interested in politics around 15 or 16 and in various approaches, not necessarily FN‘, she said. At the same age, she even went to a meeting organized by Nicolas Sarkozy because he, according to Marion herself, “intrigued” her. As she admitted later, she got disappointed in his political beliefs very quickly. However, at the age of 18, Marion joined the National Front.

Marion’s political growth

In 2008, in the very year when Marion became a member of the National Front, she participated in municipal elections. In her first elections, she figured in the seventh on the FN list in Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine. The National Front got only 6.29% with one councilor elected from the first round. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen wasn’t elected that year.

Two years after, Maréchal-Le Pen ran for regional elections at which she ranked the second in Yvelines, Île-de-France. But the National Front didn’t get the place in the region again because of not crossing a threshold of 10% of the valid votes at a regional level. That year, the National Front polled 9.29% in the first round and could not attend the run-off.

On 25 April 2012, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen’s parliamentary candidacy in Vaucluse’s 3rd constituency was confirmed by the nomination committee of the National Front. On 17 June 2012 Jean-Michel Ferrand, the previous MP who had been in the National Assembly for 26 years, lost to Marion in the power struggle. Aged 22, Marion became the youngest politician to join the French Parliament in modern history and broke the record of Louis Antoine de Saint-Just that was chosen at 24 years old as the new MP in 1791. At the same time, Maréchal-Le Pen got a member of the FN executive board. Marion’s first official public speech was made in September 2012 at the National Front’s summer school in La Baule-Escoublac in front of almost 1 000 participants. Since then, Marion never left the political scene.

In 2015, Marion’s grandfather Jean-Marie Le Pen was expelled from the party for calling Nazi gas chambers a mere ‘detail’ of history. Right after that, the National Front has chosen Marion (who actually didn’t support grandad’s expulsion) to be the leader of her party in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the regional’s elections. In the first round, Maréchal-Le Pen won 40.55% of votes and became one of the 6 party candidates to guide the southeastern region. Marion lost to The Republicans’ mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi. However, she received the highest number of votes (45,22%) of all the FN candidates. Even Marine Le Pen obtained only 42% in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region. The explanation for this popularity may be Maréchal-Le Pen’s reaction to an Islamist terror attack in Paris. ‘Today, we can see that immigration has become favorable terrain for the development of Islamism’, she said.

‘The European Union without France would be complicated’

Even the official leader of the National Front Marine Le Pen ‘shifts’ to the left admitting abortion, gay marriage and even the death penalty to win the hearts of supporters of the liberal direction, but Marion Maréchal-Le Pen is firmly committed to conservatives ideals what helped her to provide the support of mainstream conservatives. Her conservative stance on abortion and gay marriage have also made Maréchal-Le Pen a darling of the religious right. Marion is opposed to gay marriage as it ‘opens the door to polygamy’ and believes that this could trigger other minorities who want their form of love recognized by the state. ‘If you endorse homosexuality, why not polygamy?’ she said. Maréchal-Le Pen also claims that the parents could not be ‘interchangeable’ and if society wants to have a ‘healthy’ future than children should have both: a mother and a father. But despite some disagreements between two Le Pen’s and a clear advantage of the younger ‘leader’, Marion endorses her aunt’s policy.

Analysts expect Marin Le Pen to become the president of France and if it happens so, Le Pen will force the bloc to let France ditch the euro, reinstate border controls and assert the supremacy of French laws over European ones. ‘I believe it is totally possible for us to gain this status because, objectively, the European Union without France would be complicated,’ Maréchal-Le Pen told The Telegraph in 2016. ‘We are a leading net contributor to the EU and I think we carry real weight.’

Marine Le Pen calls her niece a very strong and independent, separate from her politician. In an interview with French women’s magazine Femme Actuelle, she described her niece as ‘quite inflexible’ and ‘uncompromising’. ‘As for my niece’s place, she’s an MP and I don’t owe her anything,’ she said.

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