Marine Le Pen sparks EU panic as insider predicts ‘enormous revolution’ in Brussels
Brexit: Marine Le Pen warns EU against becoming ‘dictatorship’
President of the National Rally political party Marine Le Pen has come within reach for the first time of beating French President Emmanuel Macron in the 2022 election. The Harris survey has suggested that Ms Le Pen is close to breaching the “glass ceiling” of French politics. The barrier was based on the longstanding assumption that an absolute majority of voters would never back a far-right candidate.
If the next year’s election was staged now, Ms Le Pen would have 48 percent of the vote, with Mr Macron on 52 percent, according to the poll carried out online on January 19 and 20.
The four-point difference, which is within the margin of error, compared with a June 2020 Ifop poll that put Mr Macron at 55 percent and Ms Le Pen at 45.
In 2017, Mr Macron, who at the time was a debutant politician running as an independent candidate, crushed Ms Le Pen with 66 percent to her 34 percent.
Jordan Bardella, her 25-year-old deputy, congratulated the National Rally President, writing on Twitter: “Marine Le Pen has confirmed that she is capable of winning in 2022.
“May all energy and goodwill come together to conquer victory.”
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In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, German MEP Gunnar Beck also welcomed the poll, explaining how much of a difference Ms Le Pen could make in Europe if elected French President.
Mr Beck argued the eurosceptic could revolutionise Brussels and put an end to EU integration.
He said: “In terms of EU policy, France is the most important country in Europe.
“Some say it is Germany, but they are wrong. We saw it during the eurozone crisis.
“Generally, the French have prevailed.
“If Le Pen became President, there would be enormous change… particularly on subjects like migration.
“On the euro, there will be a different approach and there will be a recalibration.”
Mr Beck also claimed her election would be a shock for the extreme integrationists and “a huge boost for the eurosceptics”.
He added: “Most importantly, it will put a stop to the process towards an ever closer union.
“It could be the most important event of European history in decades and it will fundamentally upset the Germans.
“Even more than Donald Trump’s victory in 2016.”
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The first round of the presidential election is due to take place in April 2022.
The second round is held two weeks later between the two candidates who receive the most votes.
During his presidency, Mr Macron has had to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
France has been one of the worst-hit countries, with the sixth-highest number of cases and seventh-highest death toll.
The French President has also faced waves of anti-government “Yellow vests” protests.
The movement started in November 2018 and has seen violent clashes between demonstrators and police.
The protests were sparked by fuel price rises but have since become a broader movement.
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The head of Oxford-based think-tank Euro Intelligence Wolfgang Munchau wrote on Twitter: “Since the pandemic there has been a shift in French public opinion – against digitalisation, against deregulation, and against Europe.”
To make things worse for the French President, Mr Macron is now under pressure from sanitary advisers, who are encouraging him to adopt a preventative lockdown to avoid hospitals from being overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients.
A third lockdown would mean that the economy would take another hit, while the French are growing increasingly fed up with almost a year of government-imposed restrictions on their lives.
Already under a 6pm curfew and with some businesses by now closed for months, Mr Macron apparently feels that there is a growing possibility of civil unrest.
According to an Elabe poll, 38 percent of French citizens are against a third national lockdown.
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