The Corner

THIS IS A SURPRISE?

Just one poll , but it can hardly be described as surprising:

Aged 78 but bursting for a new fight, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the far Right in France, yesterday savoured news that shook the main parties in the race for the presidency next spring: he is enjoying a surge of popularity. A poll by the CSA institute showed that 17 per cent of voters supported the chief of the National Front. This is eight points higher than the same period before the 2002 election, in which M Le Pen shocked Europe by coming second to Jacques Chirac…Renewed violence on the immigrant estates has been playing into the hands of M Le Pen. The spectre of another electoral hijacking has woken up the media this week as opinion polls reported support rising from 12 per cent to the higher teens. Stéphane Rozès, director of CSA, which carried out yesterday’s poll for the newspaper Le Figaro, said that only one third of those saying that they would vote for M Le Pen represented extreme-right supporters. The rest were hardline conservatives and disillusioned voters who would vote in protest against the mainstream.