France election: Macron loses support with voters ahead of presidential vote

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In less than two weeks French residents will take to the voting booths to decide who will be their next President. Emmanuel Macron remains the favourite to win a second term in office but his numbers have dipped by four percentage points with one pollster, leading to suggestions he may face tighter competition than initially expected.

According to Politico’s survey Mr Macron is currently polling with 28 percent of the vote – correct as of March 27.

His closest challenger is thought to be the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen who has a score of 19 percent.

Although the gap between the rivals still stands at nine percent it has narrowed somewhat since the start of March when Mr Macron held a 13 point advantage.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon – candidate for the democratic socialists – is ranked as the third favourite to win the French Presidency with 14 percent of the vote.

On Sunday, thousands gathered in Paris to show their support for the far-right TV pundit Eric Zemmour, who is running as the joint-fourth favourite in the election.

The 63-year-old held the mega rally in an attempt to re-energise his voters after his polling figures have continued to slip in the past month.

Mr Zemmour, who is campaigning on promises of a hard-line approach to immigration, Islam and security, made the case that voting for him was “crucial” to save France, as opposed to a wasted vote for Ms Le Pen.

He told his supporters: “We have done in three months what other politicians have been unable to do in 15 years. We have 14 days left to do what nobody else has managed to do.”

When is the French Presidential election?

This year’s elections will begin on April 10 and should a second-round run-off be needed, finish as late as April 24.

France holds presidential elections once every five years and voting is always conducted on a Sunday.

The first round of voting will take place on Sunday, April 10.

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Though French presidential elections typically involve two rounds of voting, with votes of this scale rarely declared after the first round.

If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, then a second-round run-off, featuring the two leading candidates from the first round, will be staged two weeks later.

At present, it’s expected Mr Macron will face Ms Le Pen in this scenario.

France’s current President, Mr Macron, rocked the French political landscape in 2017 when he ran for election without the support of a major party and won.

His quickly assembled centrist party, Republique en Marche, would also go on to win that year’s parliamentary elections.

During his time in office, Mr Macron has been viewed by the public to have a centre-right political leaning.

Comparatively, Ms Le Pen has been orchestrating a drive to dilute the perception of the anti-immigration far-right National Front.

In 2011, she became the party’s President, taking over from her father, and renamed it as the National Rally seven years later.

April’s election will be Ms Len Pen’s third bid to become French President and she has continued to campaign on the party’s traditional line of curbing immigration and “keeping France for the French”.

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