Marine Le Pen's party moved ahead of President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party in a survey of voting intentions for next month’s European parliament elections.
The OpinionWay-Tilder poll for French business daily Les Echos published on Thursday showed the National rally [Rassemblement National] with 24 percent of voting intentions compared to 23 percent last month, while Macron’s La République en Marche (LREM) fell to 21 percent from 23 percent.
In an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally, said: “I think that we pay too much money. “The French can not support this anymore. We have to come to our senses.”
She said: “In Europe, political movements have emerged that share our convictions, some of them even being in power, as in Italy, Austria, Poland and Hungary.” She urged parties to join forces in the European Parliament as part of one single “powerful [parliamentary] group”.
Le Pen said: “Today we are in the process of making the EU itself an empire.” The National Rally, which is formerly known as the National Front, a few months ago was “extremely isolated” in the EU, but the party’s fortune has “radically changed in no time,” Le Pen told Welt.
“With each election, our movement, which rejects the current way the EU functions, is gaining momentum and we now have the opportunity to change that organisation from within.”
The National Rally manifesto stated: “For the first time, the European Parliament can become the place where change is carried out, if an alliance of national and popular parties prevails.”
According to Le Pen, a “fusion” of three factions would be advantageous: the Europe of Nations and Freedom bloc, where Le Pen’s party, the Italian Lega and the Austrian FPO have worked together, and the European Conservatives and Reformers, currently dominated by the British Conservative party and Poland’s governing party Law and Justice [PiS).
Such a grouping would also include the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy bloc, which includes Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD), Britain’s UKIP and the Five Star movement in Italy.
When Matteo Salvini declared a new alliance with the AfD, representatives of the Danish People’s Party, and Finland’s Party of Finland, there were no National Rally representatives present, because, says Le Pen: “Salvini was our spokesman”. She voiced support for Salvini: “We have the same attitude on immigration – We want to stop it.”
“We all reject the EU imposing a single model on us,” Le Pen said.
Her party won 24,86 percent of the vote in the last European parliamentary elections. Even if pro-EU parties continue to dominate European politics, she predicted a “total reorientation of politics”.
“It’s not just mathematics, it’s pressure, it’s influence,” she said.