By Gilles Ivaldi and Jocelyn Evans
The Front National (FN) is one of the oldest populist radical right parties in Europe. It emerged from a coalition of small far-right groups in the early 1970s. The FN remained irrelevant until it made its first electoral breakthrough, winning 11 per cent in the 1984 European elections. Since the mid-1980s, the FN has received 9–18 per cent of the vote in French presidential and legislative elections, politicizing typical radical right issues like immigration and law-and-order. It has established itself as a major political actor in the French political system, but has nonetheless remained a political pariah isolated by the so-called ‘cordon sanitaire’ between it and the mainstream right.