A poll on a second-round duel in next year’s French presidential election between current President Emmanuel Macron and populist leader Marine Le Pen has revealed the candidates are near neck and neck.
The Harris Interactive survey released this week put President Macron just four points ahead of his expected second-round runoff opponent Marine Le Pen with just 52 per cent of the vote compared to Le Pen’s 48 per cent.
According to a report from newspaper Le Parisien, the poll is not only close but within the margin of error of the survey and comes after Le Pen won a first-round poll earlier in the month with 26 to 27 per cent of the vote, while President Macron came in second with 23 to 24 per cent.
One of the reasons for the result is that up to half of the voters of left-wing candidates said they would not vote at all in a second-round duel between Le Pen and Macron.
France (presidential election, 1st round), Harris poll:
Le Pen (RN-ID): 27%
Macron (LREM-RE): 24%
Pécresse (LR-EPP): 14%
Mélenchon (FI-LEFT): 11%
Jadot (EELV-G/EFA): 9%
Scenario: Montebourg / Pécresse running
Field work: 19-20 Jan.
Sample size: 976 pic.twitter.com/G5KPKKcUqC
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) January 24, 2021
The results are a gain for Le Pen from a previous poll carried out in June that put the populist leader at 45 per cent to President Macron’s 55 per cent, with the ten-point difference shrinking to just four points in the latest survey.
The polls are also much better than the final result of the 2017 election, which saw President Macron win the second-round with 66.1 per cent of the vote.
The new polling comes just days after the Macron government backed off on a 2017 promise to introduce electoral reform and switch the country to a proportional representational voting system, a method which benefitted Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN/National Rally) during European Parliament elections.
Former Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, who now leads Macron’s La République En Marche! (LREM/Republic on the Move) in the French parliament, explicitly stated that he rejected election reform because it would help Le Pen’s party win as many as 100 parliamentary seats.
“I am not in favour of bringing 100 RN [Marine Le Pen] MPs into Parliament.” https://t.co/0M1lJNSZ5b
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 22, 2021