Le Pen upstages Macron in battle for blue-collar votes

Owen Stevens
April 28, 2017

PARIS French President Francois Hollande told government ministers on Wednesday to do all they can to ensure the biggest defeat possible for far right leader Marine Le Pen in the May 7 vote for the presidency against Emmanuel Macron, his spokesman said.

The factory in Amiens, where the production of dryers is due to stop this year and shift to Poland, joins a list of threatened plants that have become symbolic of job losses in French presidential campaigns.

And she has no plausible major reservoir of votes to add to the 21.3 per cent she received in the first round of the ballot, although she is expected to gain some voters from defeated centre-right candidate Francois Fillon. "I considered it was such a sign of contempt for the Whirlpool workers that I chose to. come here and see you".

While Macron had arranged to meet Whirlpool workers' union representatives without actually visiting the plant, Le Pen turned up unannounced outside the plant and posed for selfies with workers and attacked her rival.

"Some have woken up with a hangover because Le Pen is there".

Seeking to capitalise on her momentum, Ms Le Pen has attempted to distance herself from her own party, saying she was not the candidate of the National Front, only supported by it, and was in fact the "candidate of the people" fighting the "candidate of the oligarchy". The En Marche leader beats Le Pen in most age demographics according to the poll, but some are sceptical that the race is already over as one out of five French voters have yet to express a choice, L'Express reports.

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The report has some interesting implications for the Euro should there be an underlying shift in Le Pen's chance of winning the 2nd round.

The pro-business candidate said he belongs to the "progressive camp" with a project "to make France succeed.in a stronger Europe" that his rival wants to leave. He wrongly thought that it was a done deal.

Speaking after Mr Hollande warned him earlier in the day against taking victory for granted, Mr Macron sought to regain some initiative.

Le Pen has called for France to take back control of its borders from the European Union and deport all foreigners on a terror watchlist, accusing Macron of being soft on security.

Melenchon faced criticism after he failed to urge his backers to get behind Macron as part of the so-called "republican front", the decades-old French tactic of closing ranks to block the far-right. Both candidates will advance into the run-off election on May 7.

Other reports by VgToday

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