Latest polling shows that Marine Le Pen is gaining ground over Emmanuel Macron, and she is ahead of her far-right opponent in the race for France’s presidency.
The National Rally leader now sits on 19 per cent support compared to Macron’s 23 per cent, a survey of first-round voting intentions taken this week found.
Eric Zemmour, a far-right pundit, has fallen to third with 15%.
France will go to the polls next April to decide whether Macron gets a second five year term or hand power to his rivals.
Marine Le Pen is closing in on Emmanuel Macron’s gap as she scores 19% to President Macron’s 23 percent in the latest French election poll
Although polls consistently show the centrist candidate winning both first and second rounds of voting, he has been losing support to candidates who are to the political left – with left-wing leaders failing in their efforts to make an impact.
The latest poll, conducted by agency Elabe on behalf of BFMTV, was conducted to test the popularity of Xavier Bertrand – one of three candidates likely to lead the Les Republicains party into the vote.
LR won’t select its candidate until December, but Bertrand is considered the clear frontrunner.
Other candidates include Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, and Valérie Pécresse, leader of the Ile-de-France region around Paris.
The poll revealed that Bertrand was fourth with 13% support. This is behind Macron, Le Pen, Zemmour and Zemmour.
Aligned to centre-right, Bertrand’s existence takes support from Macron – down two percentage point – while Le Pen’s and Zemmour’s vote share increase by two and three percentage points, respectively.
France’s election is conducted in two rounds. The first round includes leaders of all parties and independent candidates. Only those with the highest vote share will advance.
Macron has been leading French election polls consistently, but has been leaked support to right-wing challengers. Now, Macron appears to be in a close contest with Le Pen
The second round will be a run-off between the two candidates who have cast their votes again. The winner is the one with the most votes.
For years, polls have shown that Le Pen is most likely to make it to the second round with Macron. She will lose in the 2017 election.
Le Pen tried to steal votes from Macron by repositioning her self towards the political center, including toning down on her rhetoric about migration.
This has created a gap in the far-right, into which Zemmour has inserted.
The TV pundit and journalist, as well as essayist, is unabashedly anti Islam. He claims that France is being ‘colonised’. He also says that Muslims must have the option of a loyalty to their religion or to the state.
He also supports the theory of ‘Great Replacement’, which states that white Christian populations in Europe have been deliberately replaced by African Muslim migrants in a plot by global capitalism.
Twice convicted for hate speech, he is stealing support from Le Pen and has actually surpassed her in a few polls since September.
According to the same polls, he is defeated in second round voting by a wider margin that Le Pen.
Like Macron, Zemmour has not yet declared his candidacy, but he has been giving every indication that he will run, including stepping away from his TV talk shows and throwing campaign-style events.
Le Pen has been moving towards central politics in an attempt to win votes from Macron. This exposes her to a challenger from the far-right, Eric Zemmour.