Just a few years ago, it was hard to find students willing to admit to being National Front cardholders.

When a journalist went looking for members of the FNJ youth movement during the last presidential election campaign, most would agree to speak only if their names were withheld.

Five years on, young activists supporting Marine Le Pen’s election bid say they no longer have anything to hide, as she cruises to an expected first place showing in the first round next month.

“It just provides for lively discussions,” said 21-year-old economics student Corentin Corcelette, who, far from keeping his views secret, says he talks about the rollercoaster presidential election with friends of all political persuasions on campus.

Sitting in the same car as they drove around Lyon to put up “Marine President” posters, 20-year old biology student Remi Berthoux was also happy to give a reporter his name. He joined the FN two years ago, he said proudly, “to defend France’s values.”

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