Centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron extended his lead in the polls over his far-right rival Marine Le Pen yesterday, the final day of a tumultuous election campaign that has turned the country’s politics upside down.
The election is seen as the most important in France for decades with two diametrically opposed views of Europe and France’s place in the world at stake.
The National Front’s Le Pen would close borders and quit the euro currency, while independent Macron, who has never held elected office, wants closer European cooperation and an open economy. The candidates of France’s two mainstream parties were both eliminated in the first round on April 23.
According to an Elabe poll for BFM TV and L’Express, Macron will get 62 percent of the votes in the second round compared to 38 percent for Le Pen, an increase of three points for the centrist candidate compared to his projected score in the last Elabe poll.
The showing is Macron’s best in a voting survey by a major polling organization since nine other candidates were eliminated in the first round on April 23.
The survey was carried out after a rancorous final televised debate between the two contenders’ yesterdays, which Macron was seen by French viewers as having won, according to two polls.
Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election, attends a campaign rally in Albi, France, May 4, 2017.
Macron’s strong showing in the debate and another poll this week that showed his En Marche! (Onwards!) political movement was likely to emerge as the biggest party in the June legislative elections as well have lifted the mood among investors who had worried about the upheaval a Le Pen victory could cause.