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Poll suggests Emmanuel Macron could lose presidency to far-right

Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party is rising in popularity ahead of next year’s election

Marine Le Pen, France’s most mainstream far-right politician, is within reach of beating Emmanuel Macron in next year’s presidential election, a new poll has revealed.

The Harris survey, modelled on the run-off Macron won in 2017, says that Le Pen would have 48% of the vote, with Macron on 52%, placing the odds of a victory for the challenger well within the margin of error.

The data also suggests that Le Pen is rising in popularity with the French electorate, with an Ifop-Fiducial survey conducted in June 2020 placing her ten points behind Macron with 45% of the vote.

In the 2017 face-off, Macron, running in his first presidential election, won a decisive victory with 66% of the vote.

The result of the poll “has alarmed the president’s supporters and the political establishment” many of whom assumed that “an absolute majority of voters would never back a far-right candidate”, The Times reports.

However, it was “met by jubilation” in the National Rally, the party led by Le Pen since 2011 that was formerly known as the National Front, the paper adds. Her deputy, Jordan Bardella, tweeted that the result shows “she is capable of winning in 2022”, adding: “May all energy and goodwill come together to conquer victory.”

The poll suggests that Le Pen remains the “main competitor” for Macron in next year’s election, Le Monde reports. But the paper adds that it could be Le Pen’s “last chance” at the presidency, having already led her party into two previous elections in 2011 and 2017.

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