News / Europe

France's Far-Right Candidate Leads Presidency Poll

French presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen (R), president of the extreme right political party, leads the first round of public polls with 23 percent of the vote in Lille, northern France, March 5, 2011
French presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen (R), president of the extreme right political party, leads the first round of public polls with 23 percent of the vote in Lille, northern France, March 5, 2011
Lisa Bryant

French politics have been thrown into disarray this week by a pair of polls showing far-right leader Marine Le Pen would carry the first round of presidential elections, which are scheduled next year.

A poll published Tuesday shows France's far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen would beat out all favored candidates for the French presidency – including incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy – if elections were held today.

The Harris Interactive survey shows 24 percent of French voters would pick Le Pen in the first round of voting. Socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the current head of the International Monetary Fund, would come second, with 23 percent. President Sarkozy would place third, with 20 percent. The results come just two days after another poll also put Le Pen in the top first-round spot.

In a television interview Monday night, Le Pen, 42, said she was not paying attention to the polls.

But she said the polls reflect a dynamism generated around the National Front and her presidential candidacy, which she said she also saw speaking to French voters.

Other politicians and pundits – along with ordinary French – have paid close attention to the polls, which come a year ahead of presidential elections. Some suggest the polling methods are inaccurate. Others argue blond-haired Le Pen is benefitting from a blizzard of media attention since she took over the National Front's presidency from her 82-year-old father this year.

But politicians like Jean-Francois Cope, spokesman for Sarkozy's UMP party, acknowledge the National Front resonates with many ordinary French.

Cope told France Info radio that the National Front has been able to respond to French fears about the economy and geopolitical crises – and about the future.

The younger Le Pen presents a softer, younger face to the National Front's tough, anti-crime, anti-Europe and anti-immigration platform. But many in France remember when her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, placed second in the first-round of the country's presidential elections in 2002.

The results shocked the nation – and the world. Former French president Jacques Chirac won the second round handily, in a vote widely seen as a referendum against extremism.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid