Populist French firebrand Marine Le Pen is currently leading the polls for the next presidential election and is now in a position to win the second round of voting, which has eluded her in her previous two attempts to ascend to the Élysée Palace.
In the race to replace President Emmanuel Macron, who is constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term in the 2027 elections, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing populist National Rally (RN) in the national assembly, tops all candidates for first round ballot intention, an Ifop survey for the Valleurs Actuells magazine found.
The poll, which surveyed 1,081 voters, found that the RN boss would top the field at 36 per cent, compared to the Mayor of Le Havre Édouard Philippe and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, both of whom came in at 22 per cent. Meanwhile, the leader of the leftist La France Insoumise (LFI) Jean-Luc Mélenchon trails behind at around 14 per cent.
As for the second round, which occurs when no candidate secures over 50 per cent of the vote and which has historically favoured centrist establishment parties, Le Pen was projected by a margin of 51 to 49 per cent to slightly edge out Gabriel Attal, who was installed last month by President Macron as the country’s youngest-ever and first openly gay prime minister in an apparent attempt to line up a successor to his neo-liberal government.
In a potential matchup with the Mayor of Le Havre Édouard Philippe, who previously served as Macron’s prime minister until 2020, Le Pen would draw dead even, with both candidates sitting at 50 per cent.
The projections for the right-wing populist point towards a major shift in the polity, with Le Pen falling to Macron in the second round of the 2022 election by a margin of 58.5 per cent to her 41.5 per cent, which was already an increase over her performance against Macron in the 2017 election when she was bested by a margin of 66.1 per cent to 33.9 per cent.
The move to the right among the French public comes amid growing discontent throughout Europe with globalist governance, particularly surrounding issues of mass migration and the green agenda, which has seen farmer uprisings take place across the continent but have been particularly fervent in France over the past month.
June will see the first major test for Le Pen on the road to the next presidential election when voters in France and throughout the EU will vote for a new parliament in Brussels.
According to projections from the European Council of Foreign Relations, the Identity and Democracy (ID) parliamentary group that Le Pen’s National Rally belongs to is projected to secure 30 French seats in the parliament, compared to just 18 for Renew Europe (RE), which includes President Macron’s Renaissance party.
The ID group as a whole is predicted to increase its representation throughout Europe to 98 seats from 59, while RE is expected to fall to 86 from 101.
Should Le Pen best Macron in the European Parliament elections it would not only serve as a severe blow to Macron’s leadership mandate but also firmly cement her as the frontrunner to become the next president of France.
Meanwhile, Macron’s Renew Europe is also currently projected to be overtaken by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group headlined by the conservative Polish Law and Justice (PiS) party and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, which is expected to make large gains in the election.
This week, rising right-wing star in France, Marion Maréchal, the vice-chairwoman of the populist Reconquest party announced that her party would be joining the ECR to “outstrip the Renew group of Emmanuel Macron, and thus to reduce the centrist influence in the European Parliament.”
Maréchal, who split with her aunt Marine Le Pen’s National Rally to join the party of anti-mass migration former presidential candidate Eric Zemmour in 2022, added on social media of Reconquest’s decision to join the ECR: “We share a common vision of Europe on the essentials: fight against immigration and Islamisation, opposition to Brussels centralism, respect for nations and their identity, and defence of conservative values.”