A Harris interactive poll has found that support for Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally, is up a quarter since 2017. Emmanuel Macron could lose the presidency to Le Pen as her stock continues to rise ahead of the 2022 national elections.
In 2017, Emmanuel Macron won 24% of votes in the first round, compared to 21.3% of the Eurosceptic Le Pen.
But, in the second round of those elections, globalist Macron took nearly two-thirds of the vote as centrists and members of the soft right backed him against an insurgent Le Pen.
The Harris poll figures will be encouraging to supporters of the National Rally with Le Pen’s first round support increasing my nearly a quarter while Macron slips slightly, putting the nationalist firebrand in pole position.
The poll also shows support fragmenting among the other parties, with The Republican candidate slipping from François Fillon’s 20% showing in 2017, and hard-left populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon seeing his impressive share from last time halved.
The big gainers besides Le Pen are the Greens, who command 10% of the vote, and right-winger Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who is up several points to 7%. His party, like Le Pen’s, is openly Eurosceptic.
Macron has been plagued by several issues since he became President. The populist Yellow Vest movement sprung up in 2018 and saw huge protests which are continuing today. The anger was initially centred around fuel tax, but widened to broader issues facing the French republic in Macron’s France.
The En Marche leader saw disappointing results in the 2019 European elections. National Rally outperformed En Marche, finishing in first place.
Leading political geographer, Cristophe Guilluy said after the 2019 vote: “Macron’s electorate is besieged. They’re living in these new medieval strongholds. And it’s the periphery that is setting the agenda.”
And last year the centrist lost his majority in the French legislature, following the creation of a breakaway Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity group.
National Rally politicians have celebrated the polling result on Twitter. French MP Bruno Bilde said: “Marine in the lead in the first lap ahead of Macron!
“In 2022, the French will show this arrogant macronie that the people are BACK!”
2022 is still a long way off, but the polling shows Le Pen is in a strong position and will look to build on these early positive results.
In a sign that Macron is already spooked by the looming threat of Le Pen, it emerged last week that the President has dropped his 2017 vow to shake up France’s electoral system precisely because of her growing popularity.
Top En Marche! politician Christophe Castaner went so far as to admit the plans had been scrapped because “I am not in favour of bringing 100 RN MPs into Parliament.”