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FRANCE

Xavier Bertrand, who is seeking the centre-right Les Republicains nomination for the French presidency, trails right-wing National Rally leader Marine Le Pen by just 4% in the latest opinion poll from Harris Interactive. The 4% gap is the narrowest between Le Pen and a third-placed candidate in the surveys carried out in the run up to the May-June 2022 election so far.

  • Harris Interactive poll: Scenario: Bertrand as LR candidate, Zemmour running: Macron (LREM): 23% (-1), Le Pen (RN): 19% (-3), Bertrand (LR): 15% (-1). +/- vs. 2-5 July 2021. Fieldwork: 3-6 September 2021. Sample size: 1,330
  • Notably the close race becomes a factor in the scenario in which right-wing writer Eric Zemmour runs for the presidency. If Zemmour is not included in the contest, Le Pen's lead over Bertrand widens to 6%:
    • Harris Interactive poll: Scenario: Bertrand as LR candidate: Macron (LREM): 23% (-1), Le Pen (RN): 22% (-1), Bertrand (LR-EPP): 16%. +/- vs. 27-30 August 2021. Fieldwork: 3-6 September 2021. Sample size: 1,330
  • Bertrand, currently President of the Regional Council of Hautes-de-France, is not the guaranteed nominee for Les Republicains with Ile-de-France President Valerie Pecrasse and former EU Commissioner Michel Barnier some of the other names in the running. However, in polls he consistently performs the best of all of the potential centre-right nominees.
  • Polls continue to indicate that in a prospective second round between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and Le Pen, Macron would be re-elected although the gap between the two continues to narrow:
    • Harris Interactive poll: Run-off: Macron (LREM): 54% (-1), Le Pen (RN): 46% (+1), +/- vs. 27-30 August 2021. Fieldwork: 3-6 September 2021. Sample size: 1,330
  • Crucially, polls have shown that should Bertrand make it through to the second round against Macron (who leads in all first round polling), he would have a good chance of beating the incumbent, as would Pecrasse.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com

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