Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

France

New poll shows far right could squeeze out Sarkozy

©

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2011-04-23

A new poll in France puts far-right leader Marine Le Pen (pictured) ahead of President Sarkozy in next year’s presidential race, reviving fears of a repeat of the shocking 2002 election results which saw the far right come second.

Exactly nine years ago far-right's Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked the French establishment by coming in second in the 2002 presidential elections. Now his daughter is on track to repeat history, according to a new French poll.

ELECTING A FRENCH PRESIDENT

France's president is elected by direct voting for a five-year term.

Presidential elections have historically been organised into two rounds. If no candidate wins more than half of all ballots in the first round, voters must pick between the two top candidates in a run-off.

The first round of the next presidential elections in France will be held in April 22, 2012, with a run-off on May 6 if necessary.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration National Front (FN), is projected to win enough votes to knock out President Nicolas Sarkozy from the second round of next year’s all important 2012 presidential election, the French daily Le Parisien's revealed on Thursday.

French presidential elections are organised into two rounds, with the two top vote winners of the first round advancing to a runoff.

Marine Le Pen, who took over the far-right party from her father in January, is ahead of all other potential candidates with the exception of French Socialist and International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The poll, conducted by the French polling agency Harris Interactive, spells bad news for Sarkozy. The president would only advance to the second round if the candidate representing the main opposition Socialist Party were Segolene Royal, a former presidential candidate.

The famed “April 21” date still haunts many in France. It was on that day in 2002, that the National Front’s firebrand leader Jean-Marie Le Pen knocked out the Socialist candidate from the presidential race, setting up a runoff against former president Jacques Chirac.

Jean-Marie Le Pen eventually lost to Chirac and the FN’s popularity floundered in the following years, but the far right party has experienced a resurgence under Marine Le Pen, who is seen as more modern and less divisive than her father.

Premature polls

The poll confirmed a previous Le Parisien survey conducted in early March that gave Le Pen a considerable head start over Sarkozy, and even a small edge on IMF boss Strauss-Kahn. The March survey said Le Pen would gather 24% of French votes, beating Strauss-Kahn’s 23% and Sarkozy’s 20%.

In Thursday’s survey Strauss-Kahn climbed to 30% and Le Pen dipped down to 21%. Either way, the figures makes Le Pen a credible candidate in the 2012 race.

However, according to Jean-Yves Camus, political scientist at French Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS), the poll is a poor indicator of the final results. The figures could change drastically once - and if - Strauss-Kahn and Sarkozy dive headfirst into the elections, Camus said.

While Strauss-Kahn’s candidature has been gathering momentum among opponents of Sarkozy, Strauss-Kahn himself has remained tight-lipped about his intention to run. The Socialists will not know who their candidate is until after their candidates square off in the much-anticipated, and potentially bruising, primaries in October.

President Sarkozy has also not officially announced his candidature. He is nonetheless expected to seek a second term and to mount a characteristically aggressive campaign to win back his core conservative constituency and avoid splintering the centre-right vote.

While all eyes are on Le Pen and the new-found confidence among France’s far right, her bid for next year’s election has not been insured either. Under French law she needs the signature of at least 150 mayors before she can present herself as a candidate.

IRIS’ Camus thinks she will succeed in attaining the endorsements, but still faces an uphill struggle to keep her poll numbers up. “She was the first candidate to start campaigning,” Camus explains. “But she will need to stay in the news and find something new to say everyday for the next 13 months, and that is not easy.”

Date created : 2011-04-21

  • FRANCE

    Old differences threaten ruling UMP party power

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Socialists back-pedal on US-style primaries

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Daughter succeeds Le Pen as head of France's far-right National Front

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)