Gulp! Andrew Neil outlines humiliation for Macron as Le Pen romps ahead in new poll

French election: Macron faces 12 contenders as race begins

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The latest poll from Atlas Politico – a Brazillian pollster that was one of the best-performing during the 2020 US Presidential Election – reports that Le Pen is the frontrunner in the race for the next French president.

Andrew Neil highlighted the findings on Twitter.

He wrote: “Latest poll in notional second-round run off for French president: Le Pen 50.5% Macron 49.5% Gulp.

“Caveat 1: it’s by Atlas Politico, Brazilian pollster. But they did well in US 2020 election Caveat 2: Could be rogue poll But: Gulp nevertheless”.

As election day looms closer, the race to be France’s next president is tightening according to opinion polls that show Emmanuel Macron’s initial popularity appears to have been dwindling in recent weeks.

The first round of the presidential election will take place on April 10, and then the top two candidates will go head-to-head on April 24.

Macron and Le Pen have almost consistently been the two frontrunners out of the 12 candidates.

However, Mr Macron has been in the lead according to most polls, suggesting a potential rematch of 2017’s election when Macron beat Le Pen with 66 percent of the vote to 34 percent.

But the far-right candidate has proven how effective her tactics have been as she has managed to close the gap over the past two weeks.

Analysts say Le Pen has narrowed the gap through a mix of smart messaging and relentless on-the-ground campaigning.

Mr Macron’s race to win a second term in office has been somewhat less rigorous.

The French leader has done little campaigning compared to his rivals and has been less involved in traditional televised debates.

The French leader has been focussing on the war in Ukraine and speaking with President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders rather than doing much campaigning, according to Politico.

Meanwhile, Ms Le Pen continued her campaign in deep France speaking to residents about problems facing the country such as fuel prices and financial issues.

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Mathieu Gallard, research director at polling firm Ipsos, said: “Le Pen did a proximity campaign, visiting a lot of small towns and villages. Her trips were not very much covered by national press but had a big echo in local media.

“She gave an impression of proximity, which is very important for French voters.”

However, unlike her rival, the far-right candidate has mostly avoided getting stuck in debates over the war in Ukraine given her long-standing lucrative ties with Putin.

According to Politico, Le Pen visited the Kremlin as part of her 2017 presidential campaign and backed Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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