Sunday, November 26, 2006

Le Pen has 17% voter support.

France: This will make for interesting election campaign if he keeps up this kind of support.

Paris, 24 Nov. (AKI) - Some 17 percent of French voters will cast their ballots for the extreme right-wing and anti-immigration Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in next year's general election, according to the results of an opinion poll published Friday by the Paris-based liberal daily, Le Monde. The survey carried out by the market research institute CSA was based on a sample of 1,002 people. The results suggest Le Pen is more popular with French voters with six months to go before the election than he was six months before the last presidential elections in 2002. Then only 9 percent of those surveyed in a similar poll indicated they'd vote for him, Le Monde said. In 2002 Le Pen captured almost 17 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, enough to force a run-off against the incumbent Jacques Chirac who eventually won. According to some observers, violent riots mostly by immigrants in Paris' low-income banlieu suburbs have struck fear amongst the French and tipped them towards supporting Le Pen.

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