Fillon Defense Convinces Just a Quarter of French, Poll Shows

Three quarters of French voters are unconvinced by presidential candidate Francois Fillon’s explanations of his wife’s employment as his parliamentary assistant, a poll says.

Fillon’s bid for the presidency was thrown off course last week when prosecutors opened a preliminary probe into whether his wife actually did work as a parliamentary aide -- a job for which she collected about 500,000 ($538,000) in salary over the course of about a decade, according to a report in Le Canard Enchaine newspaper.

In the Elabe poll for BFM TV, 45 percent of respondents were “not at all” convinced and 31 percent “mostly unconvinced” by Fillon’s claim that his wife represented him in his district and helped with his parliamentary tasks. Even among supporters of Fillon’s Republican party, 41 percent weren’t convinced, the poll said.

Only 28 percent of respondents said Fillon is “honest,” though 48 percent agreed he “has the qualities to be president,” the poll said. questioned 974 people on Jan. 30 and 31.

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