Le Pen Gaining Ground, Polls Suggest

Le Pen’s chances to win the Presidency have increased, new poll showed

The leader of France’s Front National, Marine Le Pen, is the favorite to win in the first round of the Presidential election, according to new IFOP poll released on Monday. The first round of the French Presidential election will be held on April 23, and Le Pen is expected to obtain the most votes.

Despite the early led in the polls, the gap between Le Pen and her main opponent, the centrist candidate, Emmanuel Macron, has narrowed, with one recent poll showing Macron ahead.

The new IFOP poll put Le Pen in the first place with 26 percent, and Macron closely behind with 24.5. The conservative candidate, Francois Fillon stands third with 19 percent. Fillon, however, has been hit by several scandals which undermined his candidacy.

Previously, Fillon was seen as the favorite to win the Presidency and beat Le Pen in the run-off, but the fake job scandal involving his wife damaged his prospects in the election, and prompted several conservative politicians, including former President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to call him to withdraw from the race.

Instead of the weakened Fillon, the former economy minister and independent candidate, Emmanuel Macron, gained ground in the polls and is still seen as the favorite to succeed Francois Hollande.

Most polls show that Macron would easily beat Le Pen in the run-off, but recent ones indicate that the latter is gaining ground. Le Pen is projected to win 39.5 percent of the vote in the run-off, a 3 point increase compared to a previous survey.

In case Le Pen’s rival in the run-off is Fillon, Le Pen is still expected to lose, with 43 percent of the vote versus Fillon’s 57.

Despite the seemingly large gap between Le Pen and Macron, recent experiences in the US and the UK clearly indicate that polls are not as reliable as once thought.

Source/Image: Sputnik International