The most unpredictable election in French history?

The most unpredictable election in French history?
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters, Odoxa
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A month before the first round of France's presidential election, polls suggest 43 percent of voters have still not made up their minds about who to vote for.


A month before the first round of France’s presidential election, polls suggest 43 percent of voters are hesitant about who to vote for.

What do the polls suggest?

Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are likely to lead in the first round of the election on April 23.

These two candidates would go through to a run-off on May 7 that Macron would easily win.

How many voters are undecided, though?

An Odoxa poll for French radio suggests 43 percent are still hesitating to choose between several of the candidates who are standing for election.

The uncertainty is being described as “unprecedented in French electoral history”.

“The level of voter indecision about the candidates is completely exceptional,” Odoxa said.

What else did the poll reveal?

Potential voters for the right-wing candidates – Le Pen and conservative Francois Fillon – were more settled in their choices than potential voters for Macron and the leading left-wing candidates Benoit Hamon of the governing Socialists and far-left firebrand, Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Potential voters who have already decided:

  • 60% of Le Pen’s supporters
  • 57% of Francois Fillon’s
  • 47% of Emmanuel Macron
  • 44% of Melenchon
  • 40% for Hamon

The main points from the poll

  • 74% of French say they will vote – fewer than 2012 or 2007 but more than 2002
  • Young people and those on low incomes more likely to abstain
  • 43% still undecided on who to vote for
  • Emmanuel Macron is most popular with potential voters – 46% support.
    Read the latest Odoxa poll here

The business

Investors have been jittery about the possibility of Le Pen, leader of the anti-European Unioni, anti-immigration National Front (Front National) winning the election and possibly taking France out of the euro.

What they are saying

“If the election were held tomorrow, it would probably give a second round to Macron and Marine Le Pen, which is quite an interesting case because it would be the first time that the second round of the French presidential election involves two candidates not from the two biggest parties in France,” said analyst Bruno Cautres from Sciences Po, Paris.

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