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This marks the first time Le Pen’s party overtakes REM in an Ipsos survey ahead of the European Union (EU) election this year.
The National Rally (RN), formerly the National Front party of far-right leader Marine Le Pen leads voter intention with 22 percent for the upcoming European Parliament elections, just ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic in March (REM) party, according to an Ipsos poll released on Sunday.
The poll of 1,500 people was conducted on May 2-3 and shows that Macron’s party numbers fell by 1.5 percent to the current position of 21.5 percent of voter intention. This marks the first time Le Pen’s party overtakes REM in an Ipsos survey ahead of the European Union (EU) election this year, although other, daily polls have shown the RN leading before.
Following far behind are the right-wing Republicans (LR) with 13.5 percent, EELV (green party) led by Yannick Jadot with 8.5 percent (stable), the left-wing France Insoumise Manon Aubry’s party with eight percent (+1) and Raphael Glucksmann's Socialist Party (PS) with 5.5 percent (-1); and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan right-wing DLF party with 5 percent (+0.5).
The poll furthered the information by showing that more that one in two voters will consider first party proposals on national matters rather than European. This is especially the case for the majority of voters of the RN (74 percent), France Insoumise (64 percent) and DLF (62 percent). The others will focus on European issues, including the majority of the electorate for Macron’s REM, LR, EELV and PS.
From May 23 to 26, EU citizens will have to choose 705 representatives, down from 751 because of the Brexit debacle. The RN and other eurosceptic anti-immigration parties in other EU states are planning to join forces after the EU parliamentary election.
According to the French media RFI, the European far-right could achieve "a fifth of the seats or even more." Among the main far-right parties are the RN from France, Matteo Salvini's Italian League, and the Alternative for Germany (AfD).