A week ago, French polls had tightened to the point where any combination of candidates could make it to the final round.
The polls are now so tight that at least one upset is arguably likely.
A mere two points separate Marine Le Pen from both François Fillon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the most recent poll. Only three point separates all of them.
Average of 6 Most Recent Polls
- Macron: 23%
- Le Pen: 22.5%
- Mélenchon: 19%
- Fillon: 19.4%
On April 4 Le Pen was polling at 24.5% vs 23.5% for Macron. As recently as April 10-12 Le Pen polled at 24%.
Attacks on Le Pen by all the candidates did not help Macron. He is flat to down a half point while Le Pen is down two points.
More recently, French President François Hollande has explicitly warned about Mélenchon. At a minimum, that anti-Mélenchon attack has not hurt Mélenchon in the least.
Hollande is so unpopular, one can make a case that Hollande inadvertently helped Mélenchon.
Abstentions, Spoiled Ballots
In the for most recent polls, the average of “abstention or protest votes” is 27.25%.
I suspect the vote for Le Pen is understated, but it is also possible her seemingly solid base support is crumbling at the edges.
I am not going to predict the outcome. It is even possible for Fillon to square off against Mélenchon.
At least one surprise in the final pairing should not be a surprise at all.
- French Candidate Mélenchon Launches “Fiscal Kombat”: Free Video Game on Sharing Wealth
- Wild French Polls: Spread Between Top Four Candidates Shrinks to 4 Percentage Points
That 4-point spread is now down to 3, and the spread between the second and fourth candidates is down to 2. These numbers are easily with the margin of error on all the polls.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock