* A Macron-Le Pen duel is confirmed in the polls
* The RN candidate on pole position on Sunday night?
* Dabi (Ifop) evokes “uncertainty about the order of arrival”
* The “incredible dynamism” of Jean-Luc Mélenchon
PARIS, April 7 (Reuters) – With three days to go before the first round of France’s presidential elections, polls point to a “tight” runoff between the two so far favorites, incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and the candidate of the Marine Le Pen National Rally, Frédéric Dabi confirmed to Reuters on Thursday.
According to Ifop opinion leader-general Marine Le Pen, who has “softened” her image in view of a third candidacy against an Eric Zemmour believed to embodies the excesses of the far right, Sunday’s vote approaches a strong dynamic capable of to further narrow the gap with Emmanuel Macron.
So much so that the scenario of a pole position for the daughter of the co-founder of the Front National is now being considered.
“We have a Marine Le Pen dynamic, which means that the gap has narrowed considerably. (…) Today we can perhaps speak of uncertainty about the order of arrival on the evening of the first round, even if Emmanuel is Macron for the time being is in first place,” explains Frédéric Dabi.
According to the OpinionWay-Kéa Partners barometer for Les Echos and Radio Classique broadcast on Thursday, Emmanuel Macron gets 26% of the voting intentions for Marine Le Pen (22%), Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate for La France insoumise, confirms his improvement at 17%. The margin of error of the study is between +/- 1 and 2.2 points.
Marine Le Pen mocked investors’ fears about her potential election, telling RTL on Thursday that if she won, she would apply a “serious” economic program to the benefit of the French, not the “shareholders”. nL5N2W51TD
“Marine Le Pen runs a good campaign and has a good image. (…) She anticipates a theme that crushes the campaign, purchasing power”, notes Frédéric Dabi.
NO “RAMPART LOGIC” AGAINST THE PEN
The candidate, who is holding a final meeting on Thursday evening in Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), a city controlled by the RN, also argued Thursday for a rooted theme of the far-right party, the fight against Islamist fundamentalism.
On RTL she expressed her wish to punish wearing the Islamic veil in public space with a fine.
“Over the past twenty years, this veil has been used by Islamists as a uniform and as a demonstration of the advance of Islamic fundamentalism,” she pleaded.
In an interview with Figaro, Emmanuel Macron, who admits some responsibility for the rise of the far right since 2017, warns against the “fundamentals” of the RN and “Reconquest!”, the movement of essayist Eric Zemmour.
“The attacks and the rejection of the Republic, a basis of anti-Semitism – if not claimed, at least cultivated -, a very clear xenophobia and a desire for ultra-conservatism,” he says.
However, Marine le Pen “is not bothered by this logic of bulwark against the far right, which heralds a very tight second round,” analyzes the Ifop opinion leader-general.
In the first round of the 2017 presidential election, Emmanuel Macron came out on top with 24.01% of the vote, ahead of Marine Le Pen (21.30%). The candidate of La République en Marche won in the second round with 66.10% of the vote.
François Fillon failed in third place (20.01%), closely followed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (19.58%).
The leader of LFI now wants to disrupt the announced duel between the outgoing president and the candidate of the RN.
Frédéric Dabi confirms “a pretty incredible dynamism” for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who “benefits from a useful vote on the left”.
Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo, who scores 2% in the polls, warned voters on France 2 on Thursday morning against those who would like to “brainwash” them. A kick for the LFI candidate who thinks he represents the “useful vote”.
Yannick Jadot, candidate for Europe Ecology-Les Verts (EELV), also attacked the herald of the far left, accusing him of “resigning” against the Russians in “the fight for the lives of Ukrainian women and Ukrainians”.
At the invitation of France Inter, he urged left-wing voters not to be “robbed of the first round” and to exercise “a conviction vote” in the polling booth on Sunday.
“Since the helpful vote argument was included in the campaign, Marine Le Pen has never been this high and never been so high,” he said.
In what is now approaching a final score, Republican candidate Valérie Pécresse, low in the polls (between 8.5% and 9%), called on CNEWS for “a complete purchase of power”.
In particular, she promises “an allowance of 900 euros from the first child regardless of income” and “a discount of 25 cents on a liter of petrol”.
“Emmanuel Macron is not on the right. If you want a right-wing program about purchasing power, about work, about insecurity, you should vote for the right and not give Emmanuel Macron a blank check,” she launched.
(Written by Sophie Louet with Michaela Cabrera and Ingrid Melander, edited by Matthieu Protard)