Poll finds unprecedented uncertainty
among French voters before presidential election
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[March 24, 2017]
PARIS (Reuters) - A month before the
first round of France's presidential election, 43 percent of voters are
hesitant about who to vote for, a poll said on Friday, underlining the
uncertainty surrounding the volatile election campaign.
Opinion polls show independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right
leader Marine Le Pen likely to lead in the first round of the election
on April 23 and that these two candidates would go through to a May 7
run-off that Macron would win easily.
But an opinion poll by Odoxa for franceinfo radio found that 43 percent
of voters were still hesitating between several candidates, which it
said reflected an "uncertainty unprecedented in (French) electoral
"The level of voter indecision about the candidates is completely
exceptional," Odoxa said.
Investors have been jittery about the possibility of Le Pen, leader of
the anti-European Union, anti-immigration National Front, winning the
election and taking France out of the euro.
The poll found that potential voters for right-wing candidates - Le Pen
and conservative Francois Fillon - were more settled in their choices
than potential voters for Macron and the leading left-wing candidates,
Benoit Hamon of the ruling Socialist Party and far-left firebrand
Sixty percent of Le Pen's potential voters and 57 percent of Fillon's
had definitely decided on their candidate compared with 47 percent for
Macron, 44 percent for Melenchon and 40 percent for Hamon, the poll
[to top of second column]
Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and
candidate for French 2017 presidential election, addresses
supporters during a political rally in Metz, France, March 18, 2017.
Fillon, once the front runner, has slipped in the polls since media
reports in late January that he had paid his wife, Penelope, and two
children hundreds of thousands of euros of public funds for work
they may not have carried out.
Fillon accused President Francois Hollande in a television interview
on Thursday of being involved in what he alleges is a government
plot to spread damaging media leaks about his affairs to destroy his
chances of being elected.
(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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