Shock Poll Puts Conservative Writer Ahead of Le Pen in Presidential Race

France's far-right media pundit Eric Zemmour waves as he arrives on stage during his new book "France hasn't said its last word" (La France na pas dit son dernier mot) promotion launch event in Toulon, southern France, on September 17, 2021. - French far-right pundit Eric Zemmour is inching closer …
NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images

A poll released this week has seen conservative writer Eric Zemmour pass populist National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of next spring’s French presidential election.

The Harris Interactive poll puts the conservative writer and political pundit as high as 18 per cent in one scenario, two points ahead of Ms Le Pen at 16 per cent but still nine points behind incumbent President Emmanuel Macron.

A projected second-round run-off between would also put Zemmour polling at 45 per cent, to the French leader’s 55 per cent.

A second-round vote between Ms Le Pen and President Macron, however, is even closer at 47 per cent for the populist RN leader to 53 per cent for Macron.

The new results are positive for Zemmour, who has yet to formally announce he will be running in next year’s presidential race and come as the conservative writer and pundit has seen a surge in popularity, according to a report from Reuters.

While he has not declared his formal candidacy, many see Zemmour as becoming a contender in the race after he left his spot on a television chat programme, which would be an impediment to his nomination under French electoral regulations.

Zemmour is well-known in France for his conservative and often politically incorrect takes on subjects such as French identity, Islamisation, and mass immigration.

In 2019, Zemmour was placed under investigation over a speech on Islam and immigration in which he referred to immigrants as “colonisers”. The writer has already been convicted of hate speech offences in the past.

“In France, as in all Europe, all our problems are aggravated by immigration — schools, housing, unemployment, social deficits, public order, prisons — but all our problems are also aggravated by Islam. It’s double punishment,” Zemmour had said at a right-wing convention.

Earlier this year, Zemmour spoke out against what he called an alliance of Islamists and Leftists, saying: “Islamo-leftism is the conviction that Muslims, the Muslim proletariat, will replace the traditional workers’ proletariat, the French, of yesteryear and that it will be the new revolutionary base.”

“The proletariat has been replaced by the ‘prophetariat’,” he said and added: “All these Islamo-leftist movements have taken up the methods of the communists.”

While some in the media have labelled Zemmour as a member of the “far-right”, noted French political extremism expert Jean-Yves Camus has rejected such labels for Zemmour, saying: “A number of the ideas that Eric Zemmour defends are ideas that appeal to the right, not to the far right.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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