A newly released study of the electoral preferences of members of the French military and the gendarmes has demonstrated an increasing tendency to support national populist Marine Le Pen and her Rassemblement National (RN) or National Rally party.
An Ifop study which was conducted for the Jean Jaurès Foundation, examined communes with large amounts of soldiers living there compared to the average population and discovered that some, like Mailly-le-Camp, saw 50.4 percent voting for National Rally in this year’s European Parliament election, according to a report from Le Figaro.
The commune in Suippes where members of the French 40th Artillery regiment reside also had many more people voting for the National Rally with 45.5 percent support in 2019’s European election.
Additionally, the study examined locations with polling sites in urban areas close to gendarme barracks. Again, it was discovered that these locations had higher percentages of voters for Marine Le Pen and the RN than other parts of the city where polling sites were located.
In the town of Hyères in southern France, the difference between the gendarme vote for the National Rally and the city average was over 20 percent. In Toulouse and Dijon, the difference was 17.4 percent.
France’s police force has strongly supported Le Pen for years now. A 2017 Ifop study carried out just before the first round of presidential elections estimated that about 51 percent of gendarmes were likely to vote for Le Pen.
Although large numbers of rank and file police officers support Le Pen and her party, in 2017 the police union ‘Alliance’ made it clear that they were not backing. They also urged other police officers not to back the nationalist-populist politician for president.
But despite the call from the top, many officers mentioned at the time that they would go ahead and vote for Le Pen and the RN anyway.