Le Pen Might Win, Establishment Admits
Several French politicians, pollsters, and commentators have conceded that Marine Le Pen may win the French presidential elections in May.
A Le Pen victory would continue the populist trend set by Brexit and the election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. President last year, neither of which were forecast by insiders and industry pundits.
With polls consistently placing Le Pen out in front for first round voting, the former Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned France’s establishment of the “danger” of assuming she cannot win, Euractiv has reported.
Valls pointed to Trump’s victory, unforeseen by the political establishment, to add: “What has changed in the world and Europe since Nov. 8 is that it’s possible.”
The former conservative Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, too, admitted this month: “I think Madame Le Pen could be elected.”
Le Pen has maintained a strong lead in first round polling since 2013 and is therefore widely expected to top the preliminary vote on 23 April with around a quarter of the vote.
Polling for the second round on 7 May, in which the top two candidates go head to head, currently shows her losing out to her main rival, former socialist Emmanual Macron, by a margin of about 20 per cent.