National Front leader Marine Le Pen on Monday warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy not to count on her supporters backing him in the second round.
The daughter of the far-right party’s founder, former French paratrooper Jean-Marie, was in jovial mood after the Front’s best-ever presidential election showing.
“When I heard this morning that certain people were talking about a protest vote, I find that particularly rude to our supporters,” she told journalists at the party’s headquarters outside Paris.
“We all have our own minds, as do our voters. If you treat my voters like they’re fools, I fear Sarkozy’s calls will fall on deaf ears.”
Le Pen said that she would make a statement on her voting intentions on May 1st.
She has repeatedly said in the past that she won’t do a deal with Sarkozy and his centre-right UMP party.
Some observers have speculated the National Front won’t back the incumbent, weakening the UMP and shifting the political narrative to the right ahead of June’s parliamentary elections.