Politics Explained

The reasons why Le Pen is closing in on Macron in the polls

The French president has been complacent – and he may pay for it at the ballot box, argues Sean O'Grady

Wednesday 06 April 2022 21:39
<p>Marine Le Pen is now only a few points behind Macron in the polls</p>

Marine Le Pen is now only a few points behind Macron in the polls

For a personal political vehicle with the energising name of “En Marche!”, Emmanuel Macron’s re-election campaign has got off to a late and lethargic start.

So much so that the polls are placing President Macron only a few points ahead of Marine Le Pen, the far right candidate representing Rassemblement National, a rebranded Front National. Macron is rated at about 53 per cent to 47 per cent for Le Pen in the second and final round of the election due on 24 April. The polls for the first, preliminary round of the election this Sunday (10 April) have Macron ahead by about 27 per cent to 22 per cent – far too close for comfort as he prepares for the duel with Le Pen. It is now Le Pen who has the momentum.

Given the standard margin of error, the opinion polls may even leave open the door to a Le Pen victory by the narrowest of margins – a revolution, but also an unstable one because she may well not control parliament (which goes to the polls later in the year) and a tiny majority will erode her legitimacy. It is also worth remembering that Macron beat Le Pen in the run-off in 2017 by gathering 66 per cent of the vote.

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