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World

'It's over': Macron risks losing left in Le Pen battle

  • A survey by Ipsos-Steria in early February showed that her chances would be significantly boosted by a mass stayaway by left-wing voters in the event she faced Macron.
04 Mar 2021

PARIS: A leading French daily has rattled the ruling party and sparked intense speculation about next year's presidential election by suggesting that voters won't come to Emmanuel Macron's aid if he finds himself in a rematch with the far-right.

Votes from the left propelled centrist Macron to power in 2017 in a run-off against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, just as they had helped Jacques Chirac in the 2002 election against Le Pen's father Jean-Marie. The report in Liberation newspaper, based on accounts from hundreds of readers, said many left-leaning voters would no longer support Macron to prevent Le Pen taking power.

"I've blocked (the far right) in the past and this time it's over," read Liberation's shock front-page headline on Saturday -- a quote from one of the voters who told the paper they could no longer bring themselves to vote for Macron, whatever the cost.

Polls predict the 2022 election coming down to another duel between the two politicians who fought it out on a globalist-versus-nationalist platform in 2017.

But this time, they show Le Pen far closer to the halls of power, with a Harris Interactive poll, which was never published but was leaked to the media last month, showing the National Rally leader taking 48 percent of the vote in a run-off with the incumbent.

A survey by Ipsos-Steria in early February showed that her chances would be significantly boosted by a mass stayaway by left-wing voters in the event she faced Macron.

Following Socialist Francois Hollande's single-term presidency -- which ended in 2017 with him so unpopular he decided not to stand again -- the left is currently not tipped to make the run-off, with its vote split between Socialists, Greens and the hard-left France Unbowed.