Le Pen Ahead in Poll for French Regional Elections

France’s nationalists would get more support in an election next month than the mainstream right.

Marine Le Pen, leader of France's Front national, makes a speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, November 25
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, makes a speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, November 25 (European Parliament)

Marine Le Pen’s Front national would win the most votes in France’s regional elections next month, a new opinion poll shows.

The TNS Sofres survey published in Le Figaro puts Le Pen’s nationalists ahead with 29 percent support.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-wing alliance would get 27 percent support and President François Hollande’s Socialists 22 percent.

Sarkozy won the most recent elections in March when his conservative supporters took control in 67 out of 101 départements, a level of government below the regions.

58 percent of TNS Sofres’ respondents said the recent Islamic terror attacks in Paris had “no impact” on their voting intentions.

In the aftermath of the attacks, which left more than 130 dead, Le Pen called for an “immediate halt” to immigration “as a precaution,” playing into fears that radical Muslims could be among the hundreds of thousands seeking refuge from the violence in the Middle East.

She also wants to take France out of the Schengen free-travel area, which allowed the Paris bombers to plot their attacks from Belgium.

Hollande called the terrorist attacks an “act of war” and stepped up French airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the group that claimed responsibility for the bombings and shootings. The public approves: a BVA poll released last week put his approval rating at 33 percent, up from a low of 20 percent in September.

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