On Saturday,5th November 2022, Jordan Bardella, a self-confident 27-year-old, became the official leader of the National Rally after party members elected him to succeed veteran leader Marine Le Pen.
In the wake of Le Pen‘s decision to step down after 11 years at the helm, the Paris-born politician was the odds-on favourite to lead the party.
Formerly known as the National Front, the party had been run by Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie for 40 years before that.
Jordan Bardella is now the first party chief outside the family dynasty in a half-century.
Who is Jordan Bardella?
Jordan Bardella is a French politician who has elected as the president of the National Rally (RN) – he was elected on 5th November 2022.
From September 2021 to November 2022, Jordan Bardella served as acting president, and from 2019 to 2022, as vice president.
Bardella has also served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 2019, when he was the lead candidate for the RN in the European Parliament election, and has been a regional councillor of Île-de-France since 2015.
From 2017 to 2019, Bardella served as the party’s spokesman and vice-president of the RN.
From 2018 to 2021, he was also president of its youth wing, the Front National de la Jeunesse (FNJ), later renamed Génération Nation (GN).
Jordan Bardella date and place of birth
Jordan Bardella received a diploma in economics and social sciences with honours from Jean-Baptiste-de-La-Salle private secondary school in Saint-Denis.
He studied geography at Paris-Sorbonne University but dropped out to focus on politics.
Jordan Bardella political career
In 2012, Bardella became a member of the National Front (FN) at the age of 16, saying that he joined “more for Marine Le Pen than for the National Front”.
He then became the FN department secretary of Seine-Saint-Denis in 2014 at the age of 19, making him the party’s youngest ever departmental official.
From February 16 to June 30, 2015, Bardella worked as parliamentary assistant to FN Member of the European Parliament Jean-François Jalkh.
It was during this period that political observers began to consider him a leading figure on issues in the French banlieues within the FN.
Bardella ran in the 2015 departmental elections to represent the commune of Tremblay-en-France. He and his fellow candidate, Christine Prus, lost in the second round with 41% of the vote.
In the 2015 regional elections the same year, he was a candidate at the head of the FN list in Seine-Saint-Denis and was elected to the regional council of Île-de-France.
In January 2016, Bardella launched the organization Banlieues Patriotes.
The group sought to “break with the politics of the city and reach out to voters in the forgotten territories of the Republic.”
He then became part of Marine Le Pen’s campaign team in the 2017 presidential election, in which she finished second.
Bardella was himself a candidate for Seine-Saint-Denis’s 12th constituency in the legislative elections the same year, where he was eliminated in the first round with 15% of the vote.
After the defeat of the FN in the 2017 presidential election and the resignation of Vice-president Florian Philippot, Bardella was appointed party spokesman alongside Sébastien Chenu and Julien Sanchez.
At the age of 23, Bardella was designated as the first candidate on the National Rally list (as the FN was renamed in 2018) for the 2019 European Parliament election in France.