Front National leader Marine Le Pen has taken a substantial lead in the latest French presidential election poll, eight points ahead of her nearest rival.
Le Pen secured the support of 29 percent of those surveyed by Ipsos, placing her a commanding eight points ahead of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, representing Les Républicains, and a decisive 15 points ahead of Parti de Gauche’s (Left Party’s) Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Independent has reported.
At the last Presidential elections in 2012, a year after taking the reins of her party, Ms Le Pen came third in the first round of the with 17.9 per cent of the vote, behind Mr Sarkozy on 27.2 percent and eventual winner Mr Hollande with 28.6 percent.
Since then, however, the party has gone from strength to strength with a string of electoral successes, making her a serious contender for the 2017 Presidential race.
The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls earlier this week conceded that a Le Pen win next year is “possible”, with her bid boosted by the shock election of president-elect Donald Trump in the US Presidential elections.
Mr Valls said: “If she does make it to the second round she will face either a candidate of the left or the right. This means that the balance of politics will change completely.”
Appearing last Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show – an interview which Marr admitted in his preamble would have been unthinkable before Trump’s election – Le Pen said that Trump’s win “made possible what had previously been presented as impossible. This is really the victory of the people against the elites”
She added: “[This] is a global revolution.”
Under Marine Le Pen’s leadership the Front National has moved into the mainstream of French politics, winning the 2014 European elections in France by taking 21 of France’s 74 MEP seats on offer with 24.9 percent of the vote. A year later it secured 27.1 percent of the second round vote in France’s regional council elections, winning a record 356 seats across the nation.