Boost for Macron as he opens up 8-point lead over Le Pen
Latest figures suggest incumbent president Emmanuel Macron has moved slightly ahead of his rival in second round voting intention
With the race to win the French presidency reaching its final stage, the two second round candidates – Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen – are competing for every vote in what is expected to be a tight and tough contest.
Second round vote intention figures ahead of last Sunday’s ballot showed Macron with a two-point lead, but today’s new YouGov/DataPraxis poll puts the incumbent eight points ahead, with 54% of current vote intention compared to 46% for Le Pen.
Voters for candidates defeated in round one now have to decide between either voting for one of Macron or Le Pen, or not voting at all. Our data on current transfers suggests that Macron is picking up around one in nine (11%) of those Zemmour voters currently giving us a vote intention, 55% of Mélenchon voters, and the vast majority of supporters from other left wing and centrist candidates in that round.
On the other hand, Marine Le Pen is attracting support from 90% of Zemmour voters, 45% of those who backed Mélenchon on Sunday, and a clear majority of voters from other right wing candidates who bowed out last Sunday.
If Le Pen is to be successful, she must improve on her first round performance (where she lost to Macron by five percentage points) and significantly grow her 2017 base (where she mustered only 34% of the second round vote).
To do so, she needs to manage a fine balance between leaning left to win over Mélenchon voters, while not losing grip of her own round one voters and those of fellow far-right candidate Zemmour in doing so.
Differential abstention rates could play a major role in shaping the outcome on Sunday. Currently, over one third of Mélenchon round one voters suggest that they will either vote blank (26%) in the next round, or not even turn out to vote (10%). A further 13% currently do not yet know how they will vote.
How voters move between candidates and between voting and abstaining will be crucial to the outcome next Sunday. Our final call of the French 2022 presidential election will be made on 22 April.