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Le Pen Defeated in Marseille; National Front Near Elimination

June 13, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of France’s extreme right wing, was defeated in Marseille in Sunday’s legislative election, and his party, the National Front, was practically eliminated from the next National Assembly.

According to television projections Saturday night, the National Front will probably have a total of two deputies in the 577-seat assembly. This stands in sharp contrast to the 33 deputies the National Front had in the outgoing Parliament.

The vicissitudes of Le Pen’s National Front in this year’s elections have been marked by roller-coaster ups and downs. Le Pen himself lost in the Marseille 8th District, in which he had scored over 30 percent in the first round of the presidential elections last month.

In that bout, Le Pen defeated a local Socialist candidate in a heavy campaign marked by underlying racism.

Sunday’s elections were too close to call. Socialists and conservatives were running neck and-neck, with the outcome of the general elections likely to be a hung Parliament, according to computer projections.

Polls were predicting 265 to 285 seats for both President Francois Mitterrand’s Socialist Party and the center-right alliance of the Union for French Democracy and the Rally for the Republic.

A total of 289 seats is needed to claim a majority in the National Assembly, which is the lower house of Parliament.

Le Pen said on television Saturday night that in spite of his and his party’s defeats, he will continue to wage an electoral battle.

He is already preparing for the forthcoming municipal elections scheduled for next spring.

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