French presidential candidate Francois Fillon is refusing to step aside despite fresh revelations in the so-called “fake job” scandal and plunging opinion polls.
The centre-right politician claims its all a Socialist plot describing it as an “institutional coup d’etat.
Fillon’s plight began a week ago with an expose in satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine. The newspaper alleged on Tuesday that Penelope Fillon had been paid €830,000 for working as a parliamentary aide first to her husband and then to his replacement as MP, Marc Joulaud. The latest allegations now question payments to his children.
The media both at home and abroad continues to be awash with speculation that the scandal has destroyed his presidential hopes.
Latest polls now say Fillon won’t make it through to the final round in the Spring election.
That is likely to mean the far-right rival and leader of the France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen is in with a better chance. In contrast to Fillon her support is on the rise.
Fillon’s apparent demise is Emmanuel Macron’s gain. The centrist candidate, once an outsider is now viewed by some polls as the candidate most likely to win the presidency.
The Independent refused to take part in the primaries and is now using every opportunity to get his message across… while spelling out his beliefs in economic and social reform, security and his support for the EU, analysts say Macron is riding a wave of voter fatigue with other establishment figures.
Meanwhile the Socialists and presidential hopeful Benoit Hamon have denied being the cause of Fillon’s discomfort. Hamon is more focused on defying the polls and getting through the first round for a chance at France’s top job.