Support for far-right party the Front National is surging in France following the Paris attacks, a poll has shown.
Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the granddaughter of the party’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of its current leader, appears to be on course to win local elections.
With two weeks to go until the vote, an Ipsos/Sopra Steria poll for France Televisions and Radio France showed her pulling ahead of Republican and Socialist candidates for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (Paca) region.
Ms Maréchal-Le Pen, who was elected as the youngest MP in modern French political history aged just 22 in 2012, is running as one of 18 regional presidents.
France TV Info reports that her support rating has risen by three points to 40 per cent since the Paris attacks – far ahead of her nearest rival.
But despite the apparently strong support for Ms Maréchal-Le Pen, almost half of the voters surveyed thought a Front National victory would be the worst possible outcome.
The party’s divisive anti-immigration, socially conservative, anti-Schengen platform has been pulling in new voters since the attacks, while continuing to spark criticism and allegations of xenophobia and racism.
Ms Maréchal-Le Pen has made several television appearances since the terrorist massacres that killed 130 people earlier this month, despite saying she had suspended her election campaign.
“Immigration has become a breeding ground enabling the development of Islamism,” said one tweet.
Her aunt, Marine Le Pen, was already set to win control of the northernmost province, while the centre-right Les Republicains party led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to win a majority of seats.
France’s regional elections are being held in two rounds on 6 and 13 December and will be the last before the Presidential vote in 2017.
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