The French presidential race has been rocked after a opinion poll showed leader of the National Front party, Marine Le Pen, is by far the most popular political figure among right-wing supporters, and also gaining ground among left-wing circles.
According to the poll carried out by Odoxa for French television station France 2, 74 per cent of those who consider themselves ‘conservative’ and who claim to support right-wing politics want the head of the country’s leading anti-immigrant party to play a more influential role in French politics, both now and in the future.
Only 53 per cent of right-wing supporters claimed to feel the same way about France’s former head of state Nicolas Sarkozy, and 67 per cent for Alain Juppé, who is currently favoured to win the spring 2017 presidential election.
The opinion poll also said 50 per cent of the French population–both left and right-wing–think that Ms Le Pen is a ‘major’ political player and that she should be given more power.
Only 33 per cent said the same thing about Mr Sarkozy, and 27 per cent about Mr Hollande.
Aside from illustrating Mrs Le Pen’s rise in power and her new-found ability to win over voters feeling let down by Francois Hollande’s Socialist government, the poll also shows nearly two-thirds of the French–62 per cent–think both Mr Hollande and Mr Sarkozy had been equally “bad” presidents.
One quarter of the French think that Mr Sarkozy was a better president that Mr Hollande, whilst 12 per cent think the exact opposite.
The poll made another shocking revelation: two thirds of the French–63 per cent–think that left-wing politicians could be wiped off the French political scene following next year’s elections.
The poll also shows close to one quarter of left-wing voters–24 per cent–want Mrs Le Pen to be given more political say, compared to 54 per cent for Mr Hollande, 17 per cent for Mr Sarkozy, and 72 per cent for Mr Juppé, who, according to most election polls, is the most ‘neutral’ presidential candidate.
The survey, which was carried out between 29 and 30 September and for which 1,053 citizens over the age of 18 were interviewed, also shows that 72 per cent of the French want Mr Hollande to leave the political stage, compared to 49 per cent for Mrs Le Pen and 66 per cent for Mr Sarkozy.