Jean-Marie Le Pen has become the seventh runner to declare for the race to be France’s next President. The leader of the far-right Front National has submitted his application after gathering more than the minimum 500 signatures stipulated. 2007 marks Le Pen’s fifth bid for the Presidency. Pollsters have credited him with 14 percent of the vote in the first round.
He polled 16.8 percent in 2002 – a result which was enough to propel him through to a run-off vote against Jacques Chirac. But despite his long political career and qualified success last time round, Le Pen’s party still has no mayors and party workers have been forced to canvass for supporters to endorse him.
Analysts predict frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy will get 27 percent of the vote in the first round on April the 22nd. He has announced that he will stand down from his post as Interior Minister at the end of the month.
Socialist Segolene Royale follows closely on her rival’s heels with 25 percent – her support having rallied somewhat in recent weeks. While centre candidate Francois Bayrou is the outsider on 21 – but research has shown he would beat Royal in a run-off if it got that far. So far, seven candidates have declared. The window for registrations expires tomorrow.