Published: Mon, May 01, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

France Presidential Election 2017: Emmanuel Macron gets heckled by Le Pen supporters

France Presidential Election 2017: Emmanuel Macron gets heckled by Le Pen supporters

The contrasting images of Ms Le Pen smiling with workers while Mr Macron engaged in heated exchanges with them could prove damaging to his presidential campaign.

However, a new poll, run by OpinonWay, has him at 61 per cent of the vote, compared to Le Pen, who is on 39 per cent, with most analysts predicting a comfortable win on May 7. As the country's presidential race heats up, its far-right populist candidate has declared that she's ditching her party altogether to court the whole of France. It is largely symbolic, as she will only temporarily be replaced by the party's vice president, Jean-François Jalkh, for two weeks, allowing her to concentrate exclusively on the presidential campaign.

Polls say Macron is set to win the presidency with about 60 percent or more of the second round vote.

Macron took to Twitter (in French) and said, "MLP (Marine Le Pen)= 10 minutes with her followers in a auto park in front of the cameras; me = one hour and 15 minutes of work with the unions and no media".

"Now on the way to a vigorous second round, I am hoping for a president Le Pen", said Wilders, whose party produced a disappointing result in the Dutch elections earlier this year.

"Macron goes into the second round on a carpet of rose petals with nearly total support from the French mainstream media, elites, trade union organizations, entrepreneurs", she said in an interview on the TV channel France 2.

Meanwhile, Le Pen was having selfies taken with workers outside a factory a few miles away. Le Pen, however, is not so lucky, and is even being publicly criticized by her own father, far-right veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen, over what he believes are soft campaign tactics. "This evening, I am no longer the president of the FN, I am the presidential candidate, the one who wants to bring together all the French people around the project of hope, prosperity, and security".

Mr Baroin told CNews he would vote for Mr Macron on May 7 without hesitation but that he would not join in helping his campaign.

Abandoning the National Front is likely a desperate attempt by Le Pen to break with the party's extremist past, which stands between her and anti-globalist French voters who aren't xenophobic.

Mr Le Pen shocked the world in 2002 by qualifying for the second round of the presidential election before losing by a landslide to conservative Jacques Chirac.

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