French election: Marine Le Pen leading by 5 percent, the latest polls have shown

French election Marine Le Pen leading by 5 percent, the latest polls have shown
French election Marine Le Pen leading by 5 percent, the latest polls have shown

The right wing leader of National Front has crept ahead of Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon, the latest polls have shown.

Ms Le Pen is tipped to get 26 per cent in the first round of voting in the French election, with Mr Macron taking 21 per cent and Mr Fillon 20.

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Despite doubts Ms Le Pen could win her support is growing, especially from working class voters where she has around 44 per cent.

Loyal Le Pen fans are most likely to stick with their decision, polls suggest, with others being more likely to swing their vote.

Three quarters of voters for Ms Le Pen say they will vote for her no matter what, but only a third for Mr Macron’s fans said the same, and 60 per cent of those who are voting for Mr Fillon said they will not be swayed.

Ms Le Pen is hugely popular among workers in France, especially with policies which say foreign workers will be taxed more to pay for the unemployed in her country.

Polls say Ms Le Pen will likely win the first round but will not bee elected in the second.

Mr Macron is seen as being able to beat Ms Le Pen in run-off vote by 62 per cent to 38 per cent.

Mr Fillon would beat Ms Le Pen in run-off vote by 57 per cent to 43 per cent if Fillon made it through to second round, polls say.

The overall winner will need more than 50 per cent of the vote to become president, taking the helm from Francois Hollande.

However, pollsters failed to predicted Brexit and the Trump election which has failed to inspire confidence in their results.

More than half of French voters have said they do not like her “at all” according to a Voici poll.

The polls come in as anti-police protests rage across Paris, from the suburbs and bursting into the city.

Protests, which have led to over 200 arrests around France, follow allegations that a young man arrested on February 2 was beaten and raped with a police baton. An investigation is underway.

The first round of voting for the French election will take place on April 23 and the second round will be held in May.

 

Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen, known as Marine Le Pen born 5 August 1968, is a French attorney and politician. She is the president of the National Front (FN), a political party in France. She is the youngest daughter of long-time FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and the aunt of FN MP Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.

Le Pen joined the National Front in 1986 and has been elected as a regional councillor (1998–present), a Member of European Parliament (2004–present), and a municipal councillor in Hénin-Beaumont (2008-2011). She was a candidate for the leadership of the FN in 2011 and won with 67.65% (11,546 votes) of the vote, defeating her opponent Bruno Gollnisch and succeeding her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, president of the party for nearly forty years. She then became the second president of the party. In 2012, she placed third in the presidential election with 17.90% of the vote, behind François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. She launched a second presidential bid for the upcoming election, scheduled for April 2017.

Described as more democratic and republican than her nationalist father, Le Pen has led a movement of “de-demonization of the Front National” to detoxify it and soften its image, based on renovated positions and renewed teams, also expelling controversial members accused of racism, antisemitism, or pétainism. She finally expelled her father from the party on 20 August 2015 after new controversial statements.

She has also relaxed some political positions of the party, advocating for civil unions for same-sex couples instead of her party’s previous opposition to legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, accepting unconditional abortion and withdrawing the death penalty from her platform.

Le Pen was ranked among the most influential people in 2011 and 2015 by the Time 100. In 2016, she was ranked as second-most influential MEP in the European Parliament by Politico, just behind the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.

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