Marine Le Pen Hints She Would Back Nicolas Sarkozy
Mr Sarkozy, and to a lesser extent his Socialist rival François Hollande, has been actively courting Le Pen’s voters since she came third in Sunday’s presidential first round with nearly one fifth of the vote, the far-Right’s best score.
Trailing Mr Hollande by 10 points in polls before a May 6 run-off, Mr Sarkozy has said that NF voters should not be “demonised” and has dubbed Miss Le Pen “compatible with the Republic”.
The far-Right leader has said she will make a statement on the second round at the National Front’s traditional Joan of Arc May Day rally, and yesterday she challenged Mr Sarkozy to clarify his position regarding her party in parliamentary polls in June.
The NF hopes to build on the momentum of its presidential gains by winning its first seats in parliament since 1986, when it won 35 deputies thanks to proportional representation - subsequently shelved.
A repeat of last Sunday’s score could see it reach the parliamentary run-off in around 345 of 577 constituencies, posing a threat to Mr Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party.