Centrist president Macron’s comfortable lead had caused many to think of the French presidential election as a ‘done deal’, but in recent days the gap between him and Le Pen has dramatically narrowed, especially in a second-round run-off between the two.
The latest Harris Interactive poll shows Macron on 51.5 percent and Le Pen on 48.4 percent – a result that is within the margin of error.
— Rémi Clément (@rclmt) April 4, 2022
Other polls on the second round have placed them at 53/47 percent and 54/46 percent.
French elections take place over two rounds and in the first round Macron still has a comfortable – albeit shrinking – lead, with most polls placing him at around 26/27 percent, with Le Pen on 22/23 and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon on 16/17 percent.
The remaining 9 candidates – including extreme-right challenger Eric Zemmour and centre-right Valérie Pécresse – are all polling at under 10 percent.
The two top scoring candidates from the first round go through to a second round, and French people head back to the polls two weeks later to pick one of the two to become the next president of France.
It has long been projected that Macron and Le Pen will be the second round contenders, in a re-run of their 2017 battle.
Until recently all polls predicted a fairly comfortable win for Macron in a second round with Le Pen, but in recent days, the gap between the two has been narrowing, until the latest poll, with the 51/48 result. However, many political analysts say that second-round polls are only really reliable once the first round is over.
The first round of voting takes place on Sunday, April 10th, with round two following on April 24th.
You can find full discussion on the polls and how accurate they are on The Local’s podcast, Talking France – click HERE to listen to the latest episode.