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Major blow for Le Pen in French poll


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Major blow for Le Pen in French poll

The far-right’s Jean-Marie Le Pen has suffered his worst result in a French presidential election since his first, disastrous campaign over 30 years ago. The National Front leader took to the dance floor, putting a brave face on his disappointment. However his poor showing, with 10.44 percent of the vote, was a far cry from 2002 when he stunned the French political establishment by qualifying for the second round.

He blamed the media and opinion polls, claiming they had “pre-selected” this year’s two finalists. And he urged supporters to mobilize for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Le Pen is set to announce at a party rally on May 1 whether he will support any presidential candidate in the second round.

At 78, he has hinted this may have been his last bid for the top job but the Le Pen name looks set to continue in French politics. His daughter Marine had advised her father to tone down his aggressive rhetoric to appeal to a broader swathe of the electorate. She is widely seen as his most likely successor as leader of the National Front.

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Segolene Royal: profile