French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon collected additional 5.5 percent of the potential votes, compared to the survey published on March 19, and may be able to usurp Francois Fillon’s projected third place in the first round of the election, a poll showed on Friday.

 

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According to the Odoxa poll, Melenchon, the leader of left-wing political movement La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France), is projected to gain 16 percent of the votes in the first round, which is only 1 percent less than what center-right Fillon is expected to get.

 

The poll showed that while Melenchon’s popularity rose, Benoit Hamon, the candidate of the ruling Socialist Party, fell in the poll by 4.5 percentage points compared to the results released on March 19, and may currently hope for 8 percent of votes in the first round.

 

Far-right Marine Le Pen is expected to get 25 percent in the first round, while independent Emmanuel Macron is set to get 26 percent of the projected votes.

 

The survey found that 49 percent were likely to vote for Macron in the run-off, 34 percent would back Le Pen, while 17 percent said they would abstain or submit a blank vote.

 

The survey showed that, if blank votes and abstentions were discounted, Macron would win the run-off with 59 percent of the potential votes, which is 5 percent lower than his result on March 19, while Le Pen would still lose, but with 5 points more than she had 1.5 weeks ago.

 

The first round of presidential election in France is scheduled for April 23, while the run-off is set for May 7.

 

 

 

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