Ten days before the first round of presidential elections in France, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, backed by a “normalized” image and a campaign focused on purchasing power, continues to advance voting intentions and closing the gap. with outgoing President Emmanuel Macron.
• Also read: Macron in the lead, close distance with Le Pen on the second lap
A victory for Marine Le Pen, the third candidate in the French presidential election, no longer appears today as a science fiction stage.
According to an Elabe poll released on Wednesday, Ms. Le Pen, credited with 21% of the vote in the first round against 28% in Emmanuel Macron, drastically narrowed the gap in the second. It collects 47.5% against the 52.5% of the outgoing president, a particularly tight score and in theory you can – and for the first time in this campaign – see it win, if we take into account the margin of error.
“I’ve never been so close to victory”
“I’ve never been so close to victory,” the candidate told Le Parisien readers last week.
Done after his failure against Mr. Macron in 2017, and in particular after a disastrous debate between two rounds for her, Mjo Le Pen, daughter of the sulfurous tribune and historical figure of the French far right Jean-Marie Le Pen, patiently climbed the slope, softened her image, refocused her speech.
The “de-demonization” operation had begun after she joined the head of the National Front (now the National Rally) in 2011, and Marine Le Pen has been working to make her father’s anti-Semitic and racist outbursts forgotten. if. of the heaviest of the party.
First worried about the outbreak of the political scene with the fall of another far-right candidate, Eric Zemmour, she finally benefited from the ultra-radical and divisive positions of the former polemicist.
While Zemmour, who is now being reduced to polls, was repeating her identity, anti-immigration and anti-Islam issues, Ms. Le Pen focused his campaign on purchasing power, the main concern of the French, promising emergency measures such as abolition. of VAT on certain products.
“Marine Le Pen has carried out an excellent campaign, has been at the center of the concerns of the French, has worked on their issues, has built a national recovery project,” the spokesman for the RFI welcomed on Thursday. National Rally, Julien Odoul. . .
But the change is just a “façade,” the left-wing Liberation newspaper, which featured the far-right candidate, blurred on a black background, headlined on Thursday: “She’s there. More dangerous than ever.”
A program that has not changed
The program of the 53-year-old candidate “has not changed much on grounds such as immigration and national identity,” researcher Cécile Alduy, a specialist in far-right discourse, recently told AFP.
“She has simply chosen another vocabulary to justify it: it is in the name of secularism and republican values, even feminism, that she attacks Islam and wants to drastically limit non-European immigration,” she added. Alduy.
“Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour are actually two sides of the same coin,” said researcher Raphaël Llorca, author of an essay on “the new masks of the far right.”
“We have a historic opportunity with Marine Le Pen to bring national ideas to power,” Julien Odoul, a spokesman for a party that plans to include “national preference” in the constitution and urged to hold a referendum on immigration, told RFI. as soon as he came to power.
Marine Le Pen’s party would eliminate benefits for foreigners working full-time for less than 5 years and reserve family benefits for households with at least one French parent, saying the measures would save € 9.2 billion a year. ‘year.
Faced with the progress of Ms. Le Pen, the presidential camp, so far very confident in the likely victory of its champion, is being remobilized. “Elections never fall from the sky, you have to go for them,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told LCI on Thursday. “I will fight to keep convincing,” said candidate Emmanuel Macron, who has so far campaigned minimally.