The merciless interrupt of attachments with her father-god has hung over the horse-hugging hardliners run for the French presidency

Backstage at a rallying in south France in the early days of the presidential race, Marine Le Pen took a whiff on the electronic cigarette that has changed her two-packets-a-day tobacco attire. Im going to run a joyful expedition, she smiled.

Le Pen is intended to soften her harsh persona and soothe voters she had constituted for slides hugging horses and pet kittens but likewise to offer a hardline curriculum she belief would reassure a French person despair of decades of mass unemployment and a lingering terrorist threat.

The aim, as ever for the far-right Front National founded by her leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 1972, was obstructing France for the French. There would be a referendum to change national constitutions so that national priority would be given to French people over non-nationals in tasks, home and aid. There would be another referendum to leave the European union. Le Pen promised an migration clampdown and a ban on religious emblems, includes the Muslim headscarf, from all public places in France.

Marine Le Pen, 48, is the closest she has ever been to the French presidency with a chance of preparing it to the final runoff in an election that is impossible to prophesy. In the six years old since she took over the working party from her papa, she has steadily increased her partys vote in every local and European election. If her ex-paratrooper, Holocaust-denying, provocateur father-god was content to be a objection referendum, Marine Le Pen wants supremacy and political office.

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Marine Le Pen calls a horse show in Villepinte, Paris, in December. Photo: Jacky Naegelen/ Reuters

Le Pen, restricted and image-conscious, has always a went a tight course between stigmatizing the organizations of the system and trying to be part of it. Her life has played out in the public eye ever since, aged six, she was photographed being tucked into her bed in a bedroom incongruously wallpapered with Front National election postings about fighting the Marxist cancer. The Le Pen house empire was always something of their own nationals soap opera, with the blond tribe living together includes the three Le Pen daughters well into their 30 s in a 19 th-century manor house perched on a mound outside Paris, watched over by dobermans.

But the troubled father-daughter attachment and the brutal public violate of it has hung over her presidential safarus. Marine Le Pens referendum programme has been to broaden her voter basi by sanitising the partys persona, moving it away from the racist, jackbooted and antisemitic imagery of the past. The trouble was that Papa Le Pen detected left out. In 2015, he deliberately wrecked her contrives by recurring the Holocaust denials that had territory him a series of convictions for loathe discussion and racing criminal offences against humanity. After a bitter public clash, she ostracized him from the working party. He publicly disavowed her and they havent expressed since.

But the specters of the second world war is continuing to French politics. Marine Le Pen was asked on a radio program this week about a major wartime summary of Jews in Paris. She read France as a commonwealth was not responsible, only those who were in supremacy at the time, provoking ferocity from Jewish organisations. Le Pen argued that modern France should not be locked in permanent penance and that the real France was Gen de Gaulles defiance , not the illegal Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime. If youre trying to say Marine Le Pen is a Nazi, come out and say it but that will represent everyone titter to the rafters because its simply not plausible, her leader strategist, Florian Philippot, angrily told a chatshow multitude. Le Pen threw what she called a nonsensical controversy.

Marion Anne Perrene Le Pen hurriedly nicknamed Marine was born west of Paris in 1968, a very young of three daughters. Her father-god proved off his children in the press. But their residence life was more disjointed than it seemed. In the Le Pens first Paris apartment building, the children lived separately from their parents, inside a flat upstairs with a nanny. Jean-Marie Le Pen and his wife, Pierrette Lalanne, would go off on holiday or long sailing errands around the world on their own, sometimes missing Christmas.

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Marine Le Pen attending a wreath-laying ritual in 2010 with her father Jean-Marie at the bronze of Joan of Arc in Paris. Photograph: Jacques Brinon/ AP

It was only when the eight-year-old Marine woke up in her nightdress amid shards of glass and a blown-away bedroom wall, after a suicide bombing attack aimed at killing her parent, that she realised his political capacity and the scope of hatred towards him. As an eight-year-old girl, I was suddenly made aware of fatality, she told me when she took over the Front National leader. But maybe that “ve given me” a distance, a kind of shield, thats useful when youre aiming for positions of responsibility.

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