Darren Hunt, Express, April 25, 2017
The former French Prime Minister, François Fillon who lost in the first round of voting in the French election called for his voters to back Mr Macron.
Axelle Lemaire, a French Socialist politician, suggested Mr Fillon’s voters were likely to turn to Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting.
Speaking to Newsnight, she said: “I think it is a source of concern and it shouldn’t be underestimated. I am practically worried coming from the Conservative activists.
“François Fillon called for a vote in favour of Emmanuel Macron yesterday evening.
“But the reality is that his core supporters, they are anti-gay rights, they’re anti-abortion, they’re anti-islam.
“Some of them are closer in their position to Marine Le Pen than Emmanuel Macron.”
Mr Fillon announced his resignation after leading the Republicans to its most humiliating defeat in 50 years.
The Secretary of State insisted that the French people want new faces in the political sphere.
She added: “One of the main lessons after the first round is the people want a new generation of politicians, they want new faces.
“It’s a no vote in the sense that its an anti-system vote and Emmanuel Macron was smart enough to play that card.
“They socialist party was not good enough to renew itself.
“I think time have changed and party politics in the way it used to work doesn’t work any longer.”
After reaching the second round of the French presidential election, Mrs Le Pen announced that she would be temporarily stepping down from leadership of her own party to boost her election chances.
She said: “I think that we’re approaching a decisive moment. I’ve always believed that the president should be the president of all the French people and reflect the French public in its entirety.
“I believe that you should act on your words, and it is for that reason that I will be stepping down as head of the Front National.
“Therefore as of tonight I am no longer the president of the Front National, I am a candidate of the presidential election.”