Le Pen Gains in French Polls as Security Concerns Win Voters

Marine Le Pen gained ground on her rivals for the French election as she benefits from concerns about security while other candidates trained their fire on independent front-runner Emmanuel Macron.

Monday’s daily OpinionWay poll showed that first-round support for anti-euro candidate Le Pen rose 1 percentage point to 27 percent, with Macron and Republican Francois Fillon unchanged at 20 percent each. While no surveys so far have shown Le Pen even close to a victory in May’s run-off, she’s quickly narrowing the gap to her rivals. OpinionWay showed Macron would defeat Le Pen by 58 percent to 42 percent in the second round. His advantage has halved in less than two weeks.

Le Pen is gaining from her tough stance on the disturbances that flared up across France last week during mostly peaceful protests against police brutality. The National Front leader is tapping into voters’ unease after more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks in just over two years and those sentiments were stirred up again this month when a soldier in the Louvre fired five shots at an assailant armed with a machete and crying “Allahu Akbar.”

The spread between French 10-year bonds and similar-maturity German bunds rose 5 basis point to 79 basis points at 1:37 p.m. in Paris, the widest risk premium in more than four years.

“It’s all about security,” said Bruno Jeanbart, director of OpinionWay. “Le Pen is benefiting from the fact that they’re all busy either bickering or unable to disentangle themselves from their many controversies.” A separate Harris poll showed that Le Pen is considered best placed to deal with security issues.

 

 

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