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Marine Le Pen Surges in French Polls

Front National leader Marine Le Pen has double the polling numbers of current president François Hollande ahead of the 2017 French presidential election.

It is less than a year until the French public will vote on the highest office in the country, and new polls suggest that the current president François Hollande could be in serious trouble.

A survey published by Le Monde on Thursday shows the French president polling at 14 per cent while likely Republican candidate and former president Nicolas Sarkozy scored 21 per cent. The clear winner of the poll was anti-mass migration Front National party leader Marine Le Pen who was favoured by 28 per cent of those surveyed.

The survey, which began in November and will be conducted until just before the presidential elections in June 2017, is based on a large sample of 19,455 people who are asked their opinion on multiple occasions. These results come from the fourth time the participants have been surveyed on their political preference over the period of 12 to 22 May.

The biggest loser in the poll is Mr. Hollande whose disapproval rating rose among the group surveyed. The percentage of those totally dissatisfied with the Socialist leader have gone from 43 per cent in March to 53 per cent.  The level of satisfaction with Mr. Hollande, on a scale of 1 to 10, now rests at 2.1.

The recent 100 year anniversary of the World War One Battle of Verdun “art performance” last Sunday may also have also affected Mr. Hollande’s popularity as many, including Marine Le Pen, denounced it as “indecent”.

Ms. Le Pen, with 28 per cent, is up one percentage point from the last round.  If the polling numbers remain steady going into 2017, the FN leader is guaranteed a place in the second round of the French presidential elections.

The French presidential election system is much like the Austrian system. The Austrian presidential election this year saw anti-mass migration Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) candidate Norbert Hofer win 36.4 per cent of the vote in the first round, but lose by a mere 31,000 votes in the second round to former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen.

Many who support the populist candidate worry that although she may win the first round of the presidential election she will lose the second round as other parties unite to vote against her. Those fears may be increased after European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announced that the bloc would do all in its power, including economic sanctions, to ensure no anti-mass migration party would ever come to power in Europe.

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