Far-right RN is counting a new rising star among its ranks, 23-year-old Mr Bardella, the spokesman of the party. The young politician has been recently named as the first candidate of the RN for the European election taking place in May and is now campaigning against the “bureaucrats in Brussels”. In a recent event part of the electoral campaign in Saint-Ébremond-de-Bonfossé, a village in Normandy, the politician launched an open attack against europhile Mr Macron.
He said from the stage: “Since the election of Emmanuel Macron, no one has missed the fact that this elite does not care about France.
“This France we love and fight for!”
Mr Bardella, who was born in a family of Italian origin, blamed free trade, the EU, immigration and elites from Paris for the closure of local shops.
He said: “Here sit the forgotten ones. “I am, we are here for you.”
Mr Bardella could help his far-right party to attract young voters, who may be crucial in the upcoming election as one under-35 in four has already said they will cast their ballot.
Among them, there is 17-year-old Awena, who headed to the rally from Brest, Brittany, and thinks Mr Bardella is great because he brings fresh ideas to the party.
When asked what does she think they are, her mother answered for her, saying: “He stands for the great ideas of RN: the love for the homeland and the protection of the motherland.”
Jérôme Fourquet, who heads the polling department of Ifop, believes Mr Bardella is gathering consensus by “uniting the division” within his generation.
He said: ”Bardella unites the division of the young French generation in himself.
“Part of the younger generation accepts the multicultural society into which they were born.
“And then there is the other part, mostly without a migration background, that perceives immigration as a threat to their own identity.”
Mr Bardella, who grew up in a suburb, joined Marine Le Pen’s party aged 16.
He was later accepted into the prestigious University of Paris-Sorbonne and, after turning 19, he became secretary of the RN for Seine-Saint-Denis, his home district.
The RN is currently head-to-head with Mr Macron’s La Republic En Marche, according to polls.
A survey by Ifop conducted between April 8 and 11 on 1,395 people showed Mr Macron’s party gathering 22.5 percent of the votes, while Mrs Le Pen obtained 22 percent of the preferences.
(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)