France’s Le Pen Gains Ground for 2022 Elections, Poll Shows

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is increasing her chances of winning the first round of next year’s presidential elections, according to an Ifop-Fiducial poll published by Le Journal du Dimanche.

The National Rally party leader would come first in six out of 10 scenarios in the first round if the ballots were cast this Sunday, the poll showed. She would then be beaten in the second round for the top two candidates, with 46% in a runoff against President Emmanuel Macron’s 54%, it said.

“The results reflect Le Pen’s strong dynamic as well as President Emmanuel Macron’s difficulties in the health crisis context,” Frederic Dabi, Ifop’s deputy general director, was cited as saying in Le Journal du Dimanche. “Never before, with only one year to go to the ballot, has a National Rally candidate obtained such scores.”

Macron is struggling to satisfy voters as the country faces a new bout of Covid-19 infections, bringing the number of deaths from the epidemic close to 100,000. The president ordered a nationwide lockdown on April 3 after pushing back the decision for weeks. His approval rating fell one point to 33% in early April, according to a poll by Elabe released last week. Elabe said 63% of those polled don’t trust Macron, up 3 points from the previous survey.

The Ifop-Fiducial poll showed Macron getting 23%-28% of votes in the first round, against 25%-27% for Le Pen, meaning he would come first in only one scenario. The president was seen beating Le Pen in most cases tested by the pollster last October. The French presidential vote sees a wide field of candidates whittled down to a final two in the second round.

Two other potential rivals, former health minister and president of the working class northern region of Hauts-de-France Xavier Bertrand, plus Paris region president Valerie Pecresse, were also seen winning against Le Pen if they reached the second round against her, with 59% and 55% of votes respectively.

The Ifop-Fiducial poll surveyed 1,730 adults in early April, according to the newspaper, with a margin of error of 1%-2.2%.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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