Le Pen Maintains First Round Lead in Latest Polling


Marine Le Pen remains in the lead in polling for the first round of the French presidential election, three points ahead of centrist Emmanuel Macron.

An opinion poll by Opinionway-Orpi for Les Echos and Radio Classique published Monday shows no change in the scores of the three main candidates in the first round. However, Ms. Le Pen continues to cut the lead of Mr. Macron in the second round, trailing him 40-60 compared to 38-62 before the weekend.

Meanwhile, in an imagined runoff between Ms. Le Pen and embattled establishment conservative François Fillon, the Front National leader now trails by just eight per cent, compared to a 24 per cent deficit the same time last month.

The polling comes as Alain Juppé, a possible alternative candidate for the establishment conservative Republicans, ruled himself out of the running, leaving Mr. Fillon effectively unchallenged.

He was once favourite for the presidency, but has collapsed in the polls following accusations he paid his wife for a parliamentary job that did not exist.

The Opinionway poll shows just 13 per cent of French voters now believe Mr. Fillon will be elected president, six per cent fewer than for Ms. Le Pen.

France is not the only country facing uncertainty in elections this year.

In Germany, polling for September’s federal election suggests it is too close to call between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the resurgent opposition Social Democrats.

The most recent poll by Emnid gives the CDU a lead of just one point, down from a double-digit lead just months ago, putting Mrs. Merkel’s chancellorship at risk.

The populist anti-establishment Alternative for Germany (AfD) party sits on 10 per cent, enough to give them multiple seats in the German parliament, having previously not stood.

They are likely to be shunned by establishment parties, however, and will likely be locked out of talks to form a governing coalition.


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