PARIS: Less than two weeks before voting begins, French President Emmanuel Macron’s the Republic on the Move (LREM) party consolidated its lead over its far-right rival Marine Le Pen for the due European elections, a poll released on Wednesday showed. The centrist ruling party list for the European contest, headed by ex-European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau, is on course to win 23.5 percent of the votes, up by 1.5 percentage point from a previous survey, Elabe pollster found. In a race to Starsbourg-based parliament looked as a two-horse course between reformist platform and nationalist approach, the National Rally’s score is put at 22 percent of voting intentions, unchanged from April poll.
The pollster added 41 percent of 2,002 respondents said to turn to ballot stations on May 26 to choose 74 lawmakers for the European parliament, while 37 percent of them said could change their choice.
In another survey of Kantar-Onepoint released on Tuesday, the far-rightists list moved ahead the ruling party with 23 percent against 20 percent.
As nationalism has spread into European neighbors and expected to perform strongly, Macron has cast the upcoming election as a battle between his progressive ideas and what he sees as promotion of nationalist or anti-EU agendas that could, according to him, put France’s interests and that of the European bloc on edge.
At a press conference in the sidelines of European summit in Sibiu last week, the French president said that “I will energize all efforts so that the National Rally is not in the lead”.
Seeking to give a boost to the Renaissance list, the 41-year-old head of state throws himself into the campaign by appearing in a poster with a smiling face and a look at the horizon.
In the non-official LREM candidates poster, it was written “On the march for Europe, May 26, I vote Renaissance.”
“Macron is the only glue that holds his En Marche movement together, and the further his political fortunes sink as the time for his re-election approaches, the greater the danger that things come unstuck,” analysts wrote at the Eurointelligence blog.
“Macron’s European troubles have already begun, and might get even worse,” they added