Poll: Unprecedented 43% of French Voters Hesitating About Candidate

Poll: Unprecedented 43% of French Voters Hesitating About Candidate

From left to right, Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, Independent centrist presidential candidate for the presidential election Emmanuel Macron, Far-left presidential candidate for the presidential election Jean-Luc Melenchon, Far-right presidential candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen and Socialist candidate for the presidential election Benoit Hamon pose for a group photo prior to a television debate at French TV station TF1 in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, France, March 20, 2017.


PARIS —

A month before the first round of France’s presidential election, 43 percent of voters are hesitant about who to vote for, a poll said Friday, underlining the uncertainty surrounding the volatile election campaign.

Opinion polls show independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen likely to lead in the first round of the election April 23 and that these two candidates would go through to a May 7 run-off that Macron would win easily.

Unprecedented uncertainty

But an opinion poll by Odoxa for franceinfo radio found that 43 percent of voters were still hesitating between several candidates, which it said reflected an “uncertainty unprecedented in (French) electoral history.”

“The level of voter indecision about the candidates is completely exceptional,” Odoxa said.

Investors have been jittery about the possibility of Le Pen, leader of the anti-European Union, anti-immigration National Front, winning the election and taking France out of the euro.

On the right, more sure

The poll found that potential voters for right-wing candidates — Le Pen and conservative Francois Fillon — were more settled in their choices than potential voters for Macron and the leading left-wing candidates, Benoit Hamon of the ruling Socialist Party and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Sixty percent of Le Pen’s potential voters and 57 percent of Fillon’s had definitely decided on their candidate compared with 47 percent for Macron, 44 percent for Melenchon and 40 percent for Hamon, the poll found.

Fillon slipped in polls

Fillon, once the front runner, has slipped in the polls since media reports in late January that he had paid his wife, Penelope, and two children hundreds of thousands of euros of public funds for work they may not have carried out.

Fillon accused President Francois Hollande in a television interview on Thursday of being involved in what he alleges is a government plot to spread damaging media leaks about his affairs to destroy his chances of being elected.



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