In regional elections in France, the National Front has made “big gains”, maybe even a plurality of nationwide votes. This should produce lots of anguished commentary in the coming hours.
But relax. With around 30% of the vote, the FN is still nowhere near threatening to win the presidency or the national assembly when both next come up in 2017.
The FN was expected to do well, even before the terrorist attack in Paris just over three weeks ago. I am somewhat surprised that President Hollande’s Socialists did so poorly–apparently third place, on 22.7%. I might have expected more “rally round the tricolor” effect. But I don’t think we should wring our hands too much over 30% in regional elections for the FN.