The TV turns on a loop on the giant screen which occupies an entire wall of the living room. Alone in his retirement from Rueil-Malmaison, Jean-Marie Le Pen cannot take his eyes off the images confirming the triumph of his political family, which entered the National Assembly en masse on Sunday evening, thanks to a “historic” legislative election. “. This Wednesday, the 89 deputies of the National Rally making their return to school crowd for the group photo, in the main courtyard of the Palais-Bourbon. The patriarch barely recognizes one or two faces… Thirty years after the 1986 proportional vote which allowed 35 far-right deputies to enter the hemicycle, the “Front” has changed in pace, nature, style, admits the founder of the party to the flame… Who however sees in this “victory” the consecration of his own fights, carried in fifty years of political efforts. When he received Le Point this week, his Ibizan greyhounds slumped at his feet, Jean-Marie Le Pen simpered with pleasure: “Having 89 deputies on Jean-Marie Le Pen’s birthday [he celebrated his 94 years old on June 20, editor’s note], it’s still a grace of God, isn’t it? There are almost as many deputies as there are candles! But he concedes nothing: ousted from the party in 2015, victim of the “normalization” enterprise initiated by his daughter, he struggles to recognize the success of this strategy.

Le Point: Without a proportional vote or alliances, Marine Le Pen almost tripled the number of seats in the Assembly you had obtained in 1986. How did you welcome this victory?

Jean-Marie Le Pen: I didn’t fall out of my chair, but I was pleasantly surprised. It made me happy, for Marine, and I told her my admiration: it still crowns her ten years at the head of the National Rally, ex-FN. I still have a small piece of tender heart… So yes, it’s true, it made me happy for the thousands of activists who have often been disappointed in their hopes. It is a kind of consecration. And I see that the RN has passed the obstacle of the voting system, which was very unfavorable to it, thus demonstrating that it is a remarkable, and probably the main political power in the country.

The “de-demonization” has reduced the aggression of opponents, it’s true. But I don’t think she played a particular role. The National Rally was elected within the political framework it had enjoyed for fifty years. Its program has not been significantly modified. What is remarkable, it seems to me, in the present success, is that it comes from the depths of the country, much more than from a methodical and well polished organization. Certainly, there are efforts of which we must recognize the merit of Marine and the leaders of the RN, but it was disproportionate to the result obtained. It is therefore that the result came from the bottom of the population. This is not a protest vote, but a membership vote; a calm, reasoned vote, noting all the same that less than one in two French people came to vote. Politics interests the French less, perhaps precisely because it is less controversial. But I see a momentum that can be promising, if we know how to use it.

Do you think the glass ceiling fell on Sunday night?

Yes. I do not underestimate, as does Mr. Bayrou, the immense difficulties facing France. And therefore, a well-calibrated formation must be able to conquer power in the following consultations. Because given the results, an upcoming dissolution of the National Assembly seems very likely to me, and it can be quite fast if the proposed project is divisive. The new deputies must already organize themselves, improve their presence, and prepare for an upcoming election, and this in the 577 constituencies in the country.

During the presidential campaign, you had sympathy for Éric Zemmour, whose much more offensive style may have seemed more effective to you. Are you wrong?

I have sympathy for Eric Zemmour, and his fight was parallel to that of the National Rally. I told myself that at some point, the tributaries would end up coming together… Marine was surprising, because she stood up to the remarkable success of Éric Zemmour’s popular gatherings. I feel sorry for him, because he must have felt a huge disappointment. Éric was on a personal journey that he probably overestimated, and Marine continued on her line as a political leader. There was no room for two devils.

What advice do you give to these 89 MPs today?

Hold on to the handle. Work, take pains. It is the background that is missing the least. Your ambition is to try to bring your ideas to power. Everything is possible in a situation which we must not hide from the fact that it will be more and more dramatic for the country, for Europe, which are threatened by the surging phenomenon of demography. Because we have gone in fifty years, I remind you, from two to eight billion inhabitants on the planet… This movement will, alas, affect Europe, which is increasingly weak in demographic terms compared to the rest of the world. The conflict in Ukraine may lead to very large movements of famine, and immigration attempts from which our rulers will have to protect themselves. As the situation worsens, Marine’s brave and intelligent proposal will gain more and more weight in public opinion, and spread throughout the country.

What would you advise Marion Maréchal, who has joined Reconquête, the party of Éric Zemmour?

“Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum”. We can be wrong, but we must not continue in error. Marion must join the great rallying movement of the French. Eric too, by the way…

Will you have the opportunity to celebrate this victory together?

We don’t talk politics with Marine anymore, you know that… But maybe she’ll invite me to attend a meeting of her group at the Assembly? It would be a good idea. I would like to be invited, I am always ready to serve the cause.

She would have given instructions to her deputies above all not to behave like you in 1986, who had sung at the podium, multiplied the blows of brilliance…

She does not know that her father is inimitable. I don’t see anyone around her capable of original initiatives like that.