Populist French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen could achieve victory in next year’s elections under certain conditions, according to a study by the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.
The study by the left-wing think tank notes that there is a “not insignificant possibility” of Le Pen winning the French presidency in 2022 if the right-wing come out to support Le Pen against her predicted opponent, incumbent President Emmanuel Macron.
The authors note that Le Pen would have to win over the voters of the more centre-right conservative candidates or for citizens to abstain from voting for Macron in the second round, 20 Minutes reports.
While the authors say they do not see a convergence between supporters of Le Pen and far-left populist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, they did note that Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) and the centre-right Les Républicains (LR) have become closer in rhetoric and ideology.
The two parties have particularly converged on the issue of Islam in France and the proposed restoration of the death penalty but remain at odds on economic issues, with the LR remaining far more liberal than Le Pen’s party.
French Second Round Presidential Poll Shows Le Pen Winning Against Nearly All Leftists https://t.co/Lvdvc2vEL1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 13, 2021
Ms Le Pen’s image among the French public has also improved since the 2017 presidential elections, particularly when it comes to accusations of antisemitism and racism.
The study states that a Le Pen victory could come due to the abstention of voters after the first round due to their unwillingness to vote for Macron.
“A significant proportion of the voters of defeated candidates in the first round will abstain, as their hatred of the candidate of the RN is matched only by their rejection of the current president,” the report states.
Elabe polling released this month found that while the results were close, Ms Le Pen could win the first round, requiring Macron to find votes among the left and the right to win the second round.
The study comes after former French minister Arnaud Montebourg predicted a possible victory for Le Pen, also saying that hatred for Macron could lead to her victory.
Former senior civil servant Philippe Lazar expressed such concern that Le Pen could win in 2022, that he called on the government to switch the election dates of the legislative election and the presidential election to try and prevent the populist from winning.
France Should Change Coming Elections to Prevent Right-Wing Victory Says Veteran Civil Servant https://t.co/Ns11f8K20h
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 20, 2021