FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist La République en Marche party is now neck-and-neck with far-right chief Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement national for the May 2019 European Parliament elections, a poll published on Thursday showed.
Ms Le Pen has been expertly riding the anti-government wave that swelled following a political scandal over the centrist’s bodyguard and plummeting popularity ratings.
The poll, conducted by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting for France Info and Le Figaro, showed Mr Macron’s LREM party winning 21.5 percent of the French vote in the European elections and Mrs Le Pen’s party winning 21 percent.
In an Ipsos poll in June, Mr Macron’s party was seen winning 26 percent of the vote, well ahead of the far-right’s 18 percent.
The conservative Les Républicains party came in third position with a tepid 14 percent of voting intentions. In the previous EU elections in 2014, Laurent Wauquiez’s party, then known as the UMP, garnered 27 percent of the French vote.
La France Insoumise, the party run by far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, was seen winning 12.5 percent of the vote.
The biggest loser in Thursday’s poll was the leftist Socialist party, which garnered just 4.5 percent of voting intentions, its “lowest score ever,” according to Odoxa pollsters.
The Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting poll of 998 French people aged 18 and over was conducted between September 12 and September 13.