The Front National leader is twice as popular as current French president, Francois Hollande.

 

Marine Le Pen

 

Le Pen – who has vowed to visit the UK to campaign for a vote to Leave in this month’s EU referendum and wants France to quit Brussels and the Euro – is also ahead of popular former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

 

More than a quarter of voters say they would give their first preference vote to Le Pen in next year’s presidential election.

 

A paltry 14 per cent would back beleaguered socialist Hollande – while Sarkozy is favoured by 21 per cent of French electors.

 

The same survey, which polled 19,455 people, found a majority of the French public are dissatisfied with their current president’s performance.

 

Over half said they were unhappy with their leader’s performance – up from 43 per cent just three months ago.

 

The results represent a damning verdict on Hollande’s four-year socialist experiment, which has been marred by rising unemployment and a stalling economy.

 

The alarming news of a surge in support for avowed Eurosceptic Le Pen will therefore come as a serious blow to mainstream French parties.

 

France will elect its next president in a two-round election in April and May next year, with only the top two candidates progressing to the all-important run-off in the second round.

 

Le Pen, who has been compared to Nigel Farage and Donald Trump, came a distant third behind Sarkozy and Hollande in the 2012 election – but her poll numbers suggest she could be on course for a place in the second round and possibly an against-all-odds victory.

 

Last month Austrian presidential hopeful Norbert Hofer narrowly missed out on becoming the European Union’s first far-right head of state.

 

The anti-immigration leader lost by less than 1 per cent in the knife-edge run off.

 

 

 

Tags: ; ; ; ; ; ;