Marine Le Pens hopes of winning French presidency intact as poll puts key rival down

Marine Le Pen before a meeting with nationalist leaders in Warsaw, Poland

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The National Rally leader is still ahead of the polemicist in the latest French election polls for a chance to replace Emmanuel Macron this year.  According to a poll conducted by Paris Match on Monday, Mr Zemmour remains at 12 percent, far behind Marine Le Pen who has now reached 18 percent of the voting intentions.

Mr Zemmour dreamed of reviving his momentum by organising a big meeting in Cannes last weekend, especially by highlighting the defection of elected officials from Ms Le Pen’s party to his side.

But the far-right presidential candidate seems to have failed so far.

And contrary to what voters might think, their electorates have few similarities.

So of course the polemicist takes votes from the National Rally candidate: 22 percent of his potential voters voted for Marine Le Pen in 2017, and 19 percent put a Fillon ballot in the box.

The candidate managed to gather the majority of her 2017 voters (66 percent) but took only 2 percent of Fillon voters.

But the social and geographical origins of those who support them are very different.

Mr Zemmour has the wealthy categories and Le Pen the most modest voters and the inhabitants of rural areas.

In detail, the polemicist attracts 21 percent of the most affluent households (whose monthly income is over 2,650 euros per person in the household) against only 8 percent of the poorest (income below 970 euros) while Marine Le Pen achieves scores of 8 percent among the richest and 24 percent among the most popular categories.

Her voting intentions explode in rural communities (28 percent, i.e. 19 points more than Zemmour, at 9 percent), while she only scores 11 percent in the Parisian agglomeration (on a par with Zemmour) and 17 percent in provincial urban communities (where the Reconquête! candidate is at 13 percent).

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Another finding of the Paris Match poll was the downward trend for Emmanuel Macron who lost one point in voting intentions at 24.5 percent.

And the fall of the ecologist Yannick Jadot who also lost one point to reach 5 percent, his lowest score for a fortnight.

He leaves Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the lead of the left (+0.5 points to 10.5 percent).

To make things worse for Mr Zemmour, a second poll conducted by the same French daily on Tuesday showed an increase of 0.5 percentage for Ms Le Pen, who reached 18.5 percent.

It is her best score since the beginning of Paris Match’s polls and puts the National Rally leader just six points behind Emmanuel Macron is remained stable at 24.5 percent in the first round.

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Mr Macron’s approval ratings have fallen by six points since December last year. According to the latest polling, conducted by French pollster BVA, only 38 percent of French people say they have a positive opinion of Mr Macron. The survey, which was conducted using a sample of 1,000 people between 19 and 20 January, marks the first time since June 2021 that the popularity rating of the Head of State has fallen below 40 percent.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has seen an even bigger drop, with his approval having fallen to 38 percent – a drop of seven points since December.

Mr Macron has mainly lost support from left-wing voters, who have seen their support for the President drop to 31 percent, a fall of 14 points.

The elderly have a slightly higher opinion of the President, with 40 percent thinking positively of him, a fall of six points.

Working-class voters have seen the same drop in points, taking Mr Macron’s approval rating in this group to 32 percent.

However, supporters of La République en Marche (LREM), Mr Macron’s party, support the French head of state more than ever.

While 95 percent of LREM voters view him in a positive light.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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