Sputnik News – April 22, 2017
The first round of France’s presidential election takes place this weekend, and with it comes the chance that traditionally mainstream parties will be brushed aside by voters: candidates from the far-right and radical left are soaring in the polls
The top two first-round finishers will proceed to a runoff election unless the front runner receives more than 50 percent of the vote. (Polls indicate that is not likely to happen.)
An average of surveys over the last week gives former left-wing Socialist and now En Marche! Centrist movement candidate Emmanuel Macron 24 percent of the vote, leader of the far-right National Front Party Marine Le Pen 22 percent, traditional center-right Republican party candidate Francois Fillon 20 percent and far-left Unsubmissive France’s Jean-Luc Melenchon 19 percent.
Fillon had been in low double digits after voters turned their backs on him due to allegations that he gave taxpayer-funded fake jobs to his wife and children. But recently he has surged and now is in serious contention to get into the second round.
“It’s something that’s exciting; progressive and left-wing people both in France and around the world [see it as] a major development,” political analyst and Loud & Clear producer Walter Smolarek told the show’s host, Brian Becker.
He pointed out that it is “highly significant” that far-left movements throughout the world are reviving.