France's far-right National Front party could change its name ahead of 2012 parliamentary elections in an effort to broaden its appeal to mainstream voters, its new leader Marine Le Pen said on Wednesday.
Le Pen is expected to be endorsed as a presidential candidate by her party shortly and she told Reuters that if she did well in that contest, as polls suggest, the party could choose a more inclusive name ahead of legislative elections.
Under the current system, legislative elections follow shortly after the Elysee race.
"It's about transforming the National Front into a party capable of a getting a majority," she said.
Whatever new name is settled on, she said it would include "rassemblement," a more inclusive word with a long history in French politics which can be translated as rally.
Several polls have recently indicated that Le Pen could prevent President Nicolas Sarkozy from reaching the run-off ballot of France's two-stage presidential elections.
Le Pen's party hopes to win local council seats for the first time in an election on Sunday, following a record first-round score that left it snapping at the heels of Sarkozy's ruling party, the conservative UMP.