Anti-EU French movements are growing stronger by the day in the run-up to the European Parliament elections, a survey revealed.
French pollster Ifop interviewed nearly 1,000 French people between October 30 and 31, asking who they would vote for if the European Parliament elections were to be held the next Sunday.
The results, released today, showed Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN), formerly known as National Front, rose from 17 to 21 percent.
Together with the seven percent gathered by sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and one percent each for parties supporting a ‘Frexit’ led by former Ms Le Pen’s associates, Florian Philippot and Francois Asselineau, far-right parties got a combined 30 percent of voting intentions, five percent more than the 25 percent in August.
The once-loved President Macron and his party, La République En Marche! (LREM) gathered only 19 percent of the voting intention, one percent down from previous polls.
Just last May, LREM was still comfortably leading the race, as it was 10 points ahead of the far-right with 27 percent of the voting preferences.
However, Mr Macron’s popularity has been falling sharply ever since, as a YouGov poll revealed last Thursday.
Out of the 1,010 people polled between October 24 and 25, just 21 percent of French voters approve their president’s actions, a four-point drop from September.
This marked the lowest satisfaction rating since his landslide election 17 months ago, when his party gathered 66.1 percent of the votes against 33.9 percent of the ballots cast for Ms Le Pen.
High unemployment, high taxes and rising fuel prices have been some of the main factors playing against Mr Macron’s popularity.
But the French president was also scolded for his arrogance and the scandals surrounding a £13,000 swimming pool for his presidential summer retreat at the French Riviera and Alexandre Benalla, Mr Macron’s deputy chief of affair who impersonated a police officer during the May Day protests.
If Mr Macron doesn’t find a way to regain popularity, he could soon be overtaken by far-left conservative Les Republicains party, led by Laurent Wauquiez, which gathered 13 percent of the votes, two points down from August.
Far-left France Insoumise, led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, fell from 14 to 11 percent.
But the main battle in France seems to mirror the ones already fought in many EU countries, which saw protagonists centrist forces and anti-EU and anti-immigration far-right movements.