Macron Would Be Second Choice for Le Pen Voters in French Ballot

  • Le Pen, Macron disagree on almost all issues but are outsiders
  • Macron voters would favor, in order, Hamon, Melenchon, Fillon

Supporters of the National Front’s Marine Le Pen would pick centrist Emmanuel Macron as their second choice in the French presidential election, according to an Ifop poll, even though the candidates have clashed on almost all major issues.

Among those planning to vote for Le Pen, 27 percent said Macron would be their fallback option, Ifop’s latest election survey showed, even though Macron wants to strengthen the euro and Le Pen aims to pull France out of it. Eighteen percent of the nationalist’s supporters said they would choose the Republicans’ Francois Fillon and 15 percent opted for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.

While Macron and Le Pen disagree on just about every issue, Le Pen shares certain law-and-order and immigration positions with Fillon and her views on France’s welfare protections and trade often align with Melenchon’s. As well as leaving the single currency, Le Pen wants more import duties and more powers for the police, while Macron wants more European integration, free trade, and community programs to fight crime.

Macron supporters don’t have the same affinity for Le Pen, with only 8 percent choosing her as their second choice. Instead, Socialist Benoit Hamon is the second favorite for 27 percent of Macron supporters, Melenchon 20 percent, and Fillon 19 percent, showing the heterogeneous nature of his program and support.

Among Fillon supporters, 44 percent would take Macron and 24 percent Le Pen. For supporters of Socialist Benoit Hamon, the next choice is Melenchon followed by Macron. For Melenchon supporters, it’s Hamon and then Macron.

Second-Round Votes

The question of second preferences isn’t just a curiosity in France, where the election system involves the top two candidates from the first round on April 23 competing in a runoff two weeks later. All pollsters are projecting that Macron and Le Pen will contest the final ballot on May 7 and that Macron would win easily.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About France’s Elections

Ifop also asked directly who supporters of candidates defeated in the first round would vote for in the runoff. Among Fillon supporters, 37 percent broke for Macron with 32 percent for Le Pen, while 31 percent wouldn’t answer. Among Melenchon supporters, 48 percent said Macron, 9 percent Le Pen, and 43 percent had no answer. Hamon voters would go 71 percent for Macron, 3 percent Le Pen, and 26 percent declined to say.

Ifop’s poll questioned 14,300, and then narrowed that group down to 9,460 people who said they are certain to vote.

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