Polls in the French presidential race are tightening as Emmanuel Macron’s campaign gets off to a lacklustre start and more voters come out in support of Marine Le Pen.
According to a new poll from Opinionway-Orpi released Thursday, the gap is narrowing between pro-globalist presidential candidate Macron and rival Le Pen, with Macron losing two percentage points in just two days, L’Express reports.
Macron dropped below 60 per cent to 59 per cent, with Le Pen at 41 per cent. The survey was carried out multiple times since February and Le Pen has only crossed the symbolic 40 per cent mark twice.
In the first polling after they had made it through to the second round, the En Marche! candidate had polled at 65 per cent of voting intentions, compared with 35 per cent for Le Pen.
Macron’s sudden drop in the polls could be linked to his PR disaster earlier this week when he visited a Whirlpool factory in his hometown of Amiens which is under threat of closure due to outsourcing.
Upstaging the planned visit, Le Pen met with the plant workers and was greeted with cheers and staff lining up for selfies. Several hours later when Macron arrived he was met with whistles, boos, and chants of “Marine for President!”
Polling firm Elabe has produced a poll that presents another reason for Macron’s decline. According to the survey, only 43 per cent of those surveyed thought that Macron’s campaign had gotten off to a good start. Fifty per cent said Le Pen’s campaign had started strong immediately after the first round results.
Not even Macron’s own supporters felt their candidate had started strongly, with 17 per cent believing the campaign could have started better.
Le Pen and other candidates in the first round have accused Macron of being a member of the establishment and the global elite due to his background in the world of investment banking.
Macron’s pro-globalist views were slammed by Le Pen in her victory speech Sunday evening when she framed the second round race as a debate between globalism and patriotism, saying the “survival of France” was at stake.
Ms. Le Pen has also made it clear that as president she would be tough on security issues including a proposal to detain domestic radical Islamists and deport foreign radicals. Macron, by contrast, has said that such a move would harm intelligence gathering and has said that terrorism should be considered a part of daily life in France.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at email@example.com