French far right has big lead over Macron ally ahead of EU vote: poll

Jordan Bardella of the far-right National Rally is leading opinion polls for the European Parliament elections in France (JULIEN DE ROSA)
Jordan Bardella of the far-right National Rally is leading opinion polls for the European Parliament elections in France (JULIEN DE ROSA)

France's far-right National Rally (RN) holds a commanding lead in voting intentions for the coming European Parliament elections, according to an opinion poll published Sunday.

Voting intentions remained "very volatile", however, said the Elabe institute, which conducted the polls for BFM television and the weekly La Tribune Dimanche.

"One in three voters could still change their minds before the election, especially on the left," it said.

The poll was conducted among 1,803 people between May 29 and 31.

The RN's top candidate, Jordan Bardella, is credited with 32.5 percent of voting intentions in the poll.

That put him far ahead of Valerie Hayer, an ally of centre-right President Emmanuel Macron, who came in second with 16 percent, followed by centre-left Socialist candidate Raphael Glucksmann with 13 percent.

While the standing of the main candidates was broadly unchanged from a similar poll a week ago, the left-wing parties France Unbowed, the Greens and Communists made slight gains.

The right-wing opposition Les Republicains and the extreme-right Reconquete remained below the five percent threshold needed for representation in the European Parliament.

In France, the European Parliament elections are primarily seen as a key gauge of national politicians' popularity.

"The National Rally has become the home of millions of patriots," Bardella told a Paris rally attended by around 5,500 supporters on Sunday, including party heavyweight Marine Le Pen.

"Today, more than ever, we are the main party in France," he said. "Tomorrow we will be the party of change."

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal meanwhile told France 3 television that "obviously" Hayer could still win, saying "That's what we're fighting for."

A day earlier the candidate herself had called on her supporters to "create a late surge" at a rally themed "It's Not Over".

Opinion polls show far-right parties making gains in several European Union countries in the elections on June 6-9.

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