No two opinion polls have caused so much of a stir in recent years: Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right, anti-immigration National Front party, is on track to win the first round of the next presidential elections here, the surveys said.
Liberté, Egalité, Xenophobia?!
This is the Fuss: According to an opinion poll published in the daily Le Parisien on March 6, the National Front candidate would gather 23% of French votes in the first round of the 2012 poll. That score would put her in first place ahead of Nicolas Sarkozy and opposition Socialist leader Martine Aubry (both got 21%).
Horrified, shocked, many in France cried foul: Surely the results would have tallied differently if the pollster had also included IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on the menu of choices.
(Side note: Strauss-Kahn has become the opposition's Great White Hope. He’s supposed to return from his training gym in Washington, KO Sarkozy and bring back the presidential heavyweight belt to the Socialists corner.)
The pollster, Harris Interactive, redid the survey with Strauss-Kahn and served up the new results on March 8: This time Marine Le Pen climbs to 24%, beating Strauss-Kahn’s 23% and Sarkozy’s 20%.
It is true that while Le Pen effectively launched her presidential bid when she took over the National Front from her father in January, the Socialists and Sarkozy have not even made their candidacies official. The Fuss’ word to the wise: Lace up them gloves!