Le Pen’s father, who was a member of the FN and gave two interviews in April 2015. The interviews included controversial remarks concerning World War II, and minorities in France. The interview triggered tensions within the party. Marine Le Pen organized a mail-in vote to request FN members for changes to the party’s statutes , including the removal of her father. J-M Le Pen continued his movement and the justices rescinded the vote. The FN executive board voted to disqualify Le Pen from the party which he established forty years ago on the 25th of August. Many observers noticed Marine’s dependence on her most trusted adviser, Florian Philippot, a former left-wing technocrat. To expel members who opposed changes to the FN under Marine Le Pen’s direction the party has organized the purge.
Le Pen subsequently announced her candidacy for the presidency of the regional council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie in the 2015 regional elections, though she expressed her regret over the proximity of these elections to the next presidential election. On the 6th of December, she finished first with 40.6 percent of the vote, but the Socialist candidate (third with 18.12%) withdrew and declared support for her right-wing opponent Xavier Bertrand, who won with 57.80% of the vote. Marion, her niece, also lost the election in similar circumstances but with a lesser margin.
2016-2017: Second presidential candidacy
Main article: French presidential election, 2017