Marion Maréchal announced on September 6 that she will head the list of right-wing firebrand Éric Zemmour, leader of the Reconquête! (R!) party, in the 2024 European Parliament elections.
Maréchal is the niece of National Rally (RN) party president Marine Le Pen and thus her heading the R! list could hurt the political prospects of her aunt.
On the French television channel TFI, Maréchal said she will lead the list and that her party “has the chance to mobilise right-wing voters around a big fight” – a fight she termed “civilisational”.
“The management team decided to entrust me with this mission, an extremely important mission for our country,” Maréchal said. “It is about defending our identity, our culture, our values that are threatened by migration flows and Islamisation.
“I do it for my daughters, for the country. The prospect that they can grow up tomorrow in a country where the issue of the veil and the abaya is a daily occurrence, a country interrupted by the destruction of riots, murders by illegal immigrants … is a prospect that makes me desperate,” she added.
Earlier the same day, newspaper Le Figaro published an interview with Zemmour in which he revealed that Maréchal would lead his party’s list in Europe.
He also said he wanted to focus on the next French presidential elections in 2027 and did not want to take part in “every other election available”.
For Maréchal it is a return to politics; she was a member of Front National, the predecessor of Rassemblement National, and worked under the name Maréchal-Le Pen. She served as the member of the National Assembly for the third French legislative constituency in the Vaucluse department (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) from 2012 to 2017.
At just 22 years old at the time of her election, she became France’s youngest parliamentarian in modern political history. After the 2015 regional election, for which she received the best result for a Front National candidate, she became the leader of the opposition in the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. She quit politics in 2017 and stepped out of public life.
In 2019 she reappeared on the side of Zemmour in an effort to unite right-wing elements in French politics. In 2022, she joined his new Reconquête party.
This came after relations between her and her aunt had gradually soured. Le Pen apparently resented the growing popularity of her niece and Maréchal’s efforts to work on a new party or a broader platform, which many say Le Pen saw as undermining her own political base.
In 2019, Rassemblement National (RN) topped the polls in European elections, winning 23.34 per cent of the votes, narrowly defeating the LREM-MODEM alliance of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Turnout, at just over 50 per cent, was the highest since the 1994 elections. This made it a symbolically significant win for RN.
The European list for RN will be spearheaded by Jordan Bardella, as previously reported by Brussels Signal.