Marine Le Pen has acknowledged that her controversial debate performance against French presidental rival Emmanuel Macron earlier this month was peppered with “too much fury”.
Speaking on French television channel TF1, Le Pen said that she had spoken with “passion, passion, perhaps too much enthusiasm, too much passion,” adding that it was not what people had been expecting.
The anti-EU candidate said the fears she felt about her younger opponent were expressed with too much “hostility, commitment, perhaps aggressiveness”.
The two rivals traded arguments and insults for more than two hours. The unpleasant nature of the televised debate appeared to alienate a lot of voters.
“It was relatively disappointing. It was a very low level debate, not good ahead of the second round,” said one Parisian.
“There were insults and little content. It was a battle against each other. Frankly, I expected better.”
Despite her performance, Marine Le Pen managed to claim over 11 million votes and help plunge the Socialists and the Republicans into disarray.
Le Pen, of the far-right Front National, will stand in the northern French constituency of Pas de Calais in next month’s election for control of France’s parliament, the National Assembly.