Le Pen, Fillon favoured to win French presidential elections

Paris, Jan 12 (IANS) President of the National Front party Marine Le Pen and former Prime Minister Francois Fillon are favourites to qualify for the second round of the presidential elections in France, according to a poll released on Thursday.

According to the BVA Institute poll, Le Pen came first, with 25 to 26 per cent of the votes in the first round of the presidential elections, to be held on April 23, and Fillon with 24 per cent, Efe news reported.

Macron, who until last August was President Francois Hollande’s Finance Minister, received between 16 and 20 per cent of the votes.

This means that Macron could be in third position, and his percentage of support would depend on who is the winner of the primaries organised this month by the Socialist Party between former premier Manuel Valls and Arnaud Montebourg, among others.

The survey noted that although Macron does not seem qualified for the second round, the gap between Le Pen and Fillon is small enough to think things could change before the election is held.

BVA pointed out that Valls — if he wins the primaries — could achieve 11 per cent, which is still far from qualifying him for the second round.