March 23, 2017

New poll shows France's Macron leading in first round

21 March 2017, 02:48 | Darnell Patrick

Emmanuel Macron the independent centrist is within half a percentage point of the leadAP

Emmanuel Macron the independent centrist is within half a percentage point of the leadAP

According to the poll put in the field by Harris Interactive, Macron would beat Le Pen in the April first-round of the elections and then go on to trounce the National Front (FN) leader by a margin of 30% of the vote in the May second round, Reuters reported.

Buoyed by the election of President Donald Trump in the United States and by Britons' vote to leave the European Union, Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front hopes for similar populist momentum in the French election.

The monthly Cevipof survey for Le Monde newspaper has a much larger sample than most French election polls, with over 15,000 people surveyed.

Polls now show Le Pen narrowly beating independent Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the elections, but ultimately losing out to either Macron or embattled conservative candidate François Fillon.

The Harris poll shows Macron would take 65 percent of that vote to Le Pen's 35 percent.

In remarks on International Women's Day on Wednesday, he suggested he would ideally name a woman as prime minister if he were to win the keys to the Elysee Palace.

"My ultimate duty is to make sure that France is not won over by such a programme, and that France does not bear such a heavy responsibility", said Hollande of the risk of a Le Pen victory in the election.

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"Even French journalists don't dare ask it!" he said.

However, Fillon's legal woes over allegations of misuse of public money have increased investors' concerns that Le Pen could win and take France out of the euro and the EU.

Additionally, financial scandals have engulfed Ms Le Pen and conservative Francois Fillon, who after his surprise victory in the primary of The Republicans party was the clear poll favourite to become president as recently as January.

Articles published by Le Canard Enchainé concerning Fillon and his family have alleged Penelope was paid €875,000 (£746,000) as a legislative aid.

Delanoe's support for the Macron campaign is a blow for the Socialist candidate for the presidency, Benoit Hamon, whose hard-left policies have led some commentators to dismiss him as unelectable.

He claimed that both the outgoing Socialist government under President Francois Hollande - in which he served - and their right-wing opponents have let down the middle classes, assailed by job cuts and an increasing tax burden.

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