How Jordan Bardella became France’s far-right poster boy

With a charismatic blend of youthful vigour and strategic communication, far-right leader Jordan Bardella has captivated millions on social media, a sign of the "Bardella mania" that has swept through France’s younger demographic. At just 28, Bardella's ascent to the top of the National Rally party formerly led by Marine Le Pen and Macron's call for snap legislative elections may well pave the road to the prime minister's office.

With a distant glance to the horizon, his perfectly combed hair backlit by soft sunlight and his uniform of crisp white button-up shirt, far-right leader Jordan Bardella’s profile picture on social media has seduced millions of followers.

“He is not only handsome, but he is intelligent too!” reads a comment underneath a June 19 TikTok post. “Mr. Bardella, I’m 17 years old and you give me hope that you can change things for our country. I used to be more of a leftist and I think I want to put my trust in you,” reads another.

With Bardella as its poster boy, the French far-right National Rally (RN) party knocked President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance out of the woods with double as many votes during the June 9 European elections. The monumental loss prompted Macron to take a shock decision and call snap parliamentary elections, the final vote for which will take place on July 7.

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