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

Emmanuel Macron attends a video conference at the Elysee Palace.
(Image credit: Francois Mori/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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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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Joe Evans is the world news editor at TheWeek.co.uk. He joined the team in 2019 and held roles including deputy news editor and acting news editor before moving into his current position in early 2021. He is a regular panellist on The Week Unwrapped podcast, discussing politics and foreign affairs. 

Before joining The Week, he worked as a freelance journalist covering the UK and Ireland for German newspapers and magazines. A series of features on Brexit and the Irish border got him nominated for the Hostwriter Prize in 2019. Prior to settling down in London, he lived and worked in Cambodia, where he ran communications for a non-governmental organisation and worked as a journalist covering Southeast Asia. He has a master’s degree in journalism from City, University of London, and before that studied English Literature at the University of Manchester.