A new poll has shown that only one-third of the supporters of the far-left former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon will vote for globalist Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election.
Pro-European Union Macron may be facing another challenge as he struggles to attract votes from supporters of far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon. A new poll shows that only a third of his supporters will vote for Macron in order to keep anti-mass migration Front National candidate Marine Le Pen from claiming victory on Sunday, Le Parisien reports.
Mr. Mélenchon, who gained almost one-fifth of the vote in the first round, has not endorsed either candidate, though he has called on his supporters to oppose Ms. Le Pen. Only 34.83 per cent of his supporters agreed to vote against Le Pen whilst 36.12 per cent said they would opt to leave their voting card blank, known in France as the “white vote”. One quarter (25.05 per cent) said they would simply abstain.
Earlier this week, Alexis Corbière, spokesman for Mélenchon, said: “Those who vote Macron, I tell them it’s worth it to prevent Marine Le Pen from coming to power!”
Despite his call to vote against Le Pen, Corbière defended those who refused to vote for either saying that the only people who help the Front National are those who vote for them.
Political scientist Gaël Brustier noted the poll only reflected people who were activists for Mélenchon, known as “militants” in France, who make up just 3.5 per cent of his total voter base. Brustier complained about the “normalisation” of Le Pen saying that “it is not surprising that even the activists are lowering their guard”.
Many of Mélenchon’s voters are opposed to the pro-EU and free market policies of Macron as Mélenchon ran on a Eurosceptic far-left platform. Of the two second round candidates, Ms. Le Pen shares some policies with Mélenchon as she has promised to hold a referendum on EU membership and has said she will protect French jobs from foreign competition.
The contrast between the two presidential candidates was best displayed last week when globalist Macron announced a visit to a Whirlpool factory in his hometown of Amiens where workers were facing unemployment as the factory is set to move to Poland. Le Pen made an impromptu visit to the workers before Macron pledging to save their jobs from outsourcing.
Hours later, when Macron arrived he was met with boos and chants of “Marine President!” Macron attempted to explain why globalisation was a good thing for the workers shortly after.
Later in the week, Macron seemed to change his opinion on the subject saying he would be for sanctioning Poland over their unwillingness to take in migrants and claimed the country takes advantage of their ability to source cheaper labour. The comments provoked outrage from the Polish government.
Current polls show the race between Le Pen and Macron narrowing with Le Pen at 41 per cent and Macron at 59 per cent.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at email@example.com