France: Far-right candidate Le Pen closes the gap with Macron

Paris, April 8 : As the French presidential election date gets closer, so is the gap between the leading candidates is also being narrowed, BBC reported on Friday. A month ago, far right candidate Marine Le Pen was trailing President Emmanuel Macron by 10 points and fighting for a place in the second round against him. But in recent days she’s emerged as the clear favourite to challenge him for the presidency after Sunday’s first round. If Le Pen does make it through to the 24 April run-off, opinion polls suggest for the first time that a Le Pen victory is within the margin of error. According to experts the National Rally leader’s fortunes changed thanks largely to her her far-right rival, Eric Zemmour, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, now an international pariah, who believe Zemmour’s campaign was destroyed by Ukraine, because of his pro Russian stance, while Marine Le Pen was smart enough to pivot to a more moderate point of view. She was ready to accept refugees immediately, while it took two days for Zemmour to understand that these refugees were well accepted in France.” Ms Le Pen has since picked up a good part of Eric Zemmour’s votes. President Macron also lost ground as he faced criticism from EU partner, Poland, for talking so regularly to Russia’s president Putin. Le Pen on the other hand was publicly backed by Vladimir Putin during the last presidential race here, and her National Rally party is currently repaying a loan from a Russian bank. But she has managed to deflect discussion of the war in Ukraine by focusing on her core campaign topic: rising prices at home. ACL0837

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