Macron panic as party lurches towards humiliating election defeat – Le Pen surges in polls

Marine Le Pen 'threatening Macron in elections' says expert

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The La République En Marche (LaRem) MP, from Emmanuel Macron’s political party, told French TV Info France 2 that the President’s team is polling badly ahead of the crucial vote. The party is predicted to lose in 13 regions against Marine Le Pen’s National Rally candidate Thierry Mariani.

Mr Castaner said: “The polls are not very good for LaRem (…) But we are able to win in a few areas “

He added: “A victory for the National Rally in a region?

“Yes, it would be serious.”

The regional elections will be a huge test for both Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen ahead of the presidential elections in 2022.

The French President has been touring regions to promote his party La République En Marche but was recently slapped in the face when he met with crowds.

Regional seats can be broadly compared to elected counties that have certain devolved powers over their area.

Mr Macron’s and Ms Le Pen’s parties do not hold any regional seats due to Mr Macron’s party being founded in 2016 when the last elections were in 2015 and Ms Le Pen not being popular enough to win seats.

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But Ms Le Pen has seen her popularity in the polls soar since the last presidential campaign in 2017 where she suffered a defeat against Mr Macron.

Polls suggest the presidential race may be closer than in 2017 with an Odoxa-Dentsu poll finding 66 percent of the 1,005 French respondents saying they do not want Mr Macron running for office next year.

A Kantar poll also found Mr Macron’s popularity was 35 percent when compared to Ms Le Pen’s 34 percent.

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But the French Institute of Public Opinion added to Mr Macron’s election woes when they found Ms Le Pen would win the first round of voting in France with 30 percent of the vote.

Speaking during an election tour, Ms Le Pen said: “I need the regions to accompany the new direction I want to give the country.”

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the south of France is predicted to be won by Ms Le Pen’s National Rally Party as is Grand Est just outside of Paris.

National Rally has seen somewhat of a political shift since the last presidential election with Ms Le Pen toning down the far-right stance of the party.

Ms Le Pen has sought to distance herself from historic xenophobic comments and positions and has changed from being a eurosceptic to a euro-revisionist.

The regional elections were due to be held in March this year but were suspended due to the pandemic and the rise of cases in France.

A total of 18 regions are up for grabs with the second ballot voting being carried out on June 20 and 27.

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