Macron Would Easily Beat Le Pen in French Runoff, Polls Suggest

According to two opinion polls, the independent candidate, Emmanuel Macron would comfortably beat Marine Le Pen in the Presidential election runoff

Former economy minister and independent candidate in the French Presidential election, Emmanuel Macron would easily beat the leader of Front National, Marine Le Pen in the second round of French Presidential election, two new polls showed on Monday.

Macron, a centrist, pro-European candidate, is running without the support of France’s traditional political parties, and was previously seen as an outsider.

According to a recent poll by by Odoxa/Dentsu-Consulting, Macron would comfortably beat Le Pen in the second run with 61 percent of the vote, versus 39 percent for his opponent. Another poll by Figaro/LCI showed Macron winning by 58 to 42 percent.

Under the French electoral system, two candidates with most votes in the first round proceed to a run-off where the winner is decided. However, almost all polls see Le Pen winning the most votes in the first round, ahead of Macron and conservative candidate, Francois Fillon.

Le Pen is running on an anti-immigrant, euro-skeptic platform, and she promised to significantly reduce immigration, renegotiate France’s EU membership and push for a greater role of the state in regulating the economy. Her recent rally in Nantes, a city on France’s Atlantic coast, was marked by two-day violence when left-wing groups seeking to block the event clashed with police.

Last week, two of Le Pen’s close aids were arrested under the charges of corruption. Le Pen herself has been implicated, but denied all allegations. At the rally, Le Pen accused the ex-banker Macron of being backed by banks and media groups, and said the justice system was being used to influence the outcome of the election.

The first round of French Presidential election is due to be held on April 23, and the run-off two weeks later.

Source: Reuters