May 7, 2019
The results of the poll come as Emmanuel Macron is facing the biggest challenge of his presidency – the so-called yellow vests protests, which kicked off in mid-November over an envisaged hike in fuel taxes, later morphing into a broader anti-government movement.
Marine Le Pen’s right-wing party National Rally (RN) is expected to outstrip French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche in the upcoming European Parliament elections, scheduled for 23-26 May, with 22 percent of the vote, a newly-released Ipsos poll showed.
According to the poll, Macron’s REM party, in turn, would slightly lag behind with 21.5 percent of the vote.
While it marks the first time Le Pen’s party, formerly known as the National Front, has topped Macron’s centrist party in an Ipsos survey, other polls have repeatedly suggested RN’s leading position.
The poll of 1,500 people was held on 2-3 May after President Macron announced a set of measures, including tax cuts worth 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion), in a bid to stop the yellow vests protests that have been raging across France for roughly six months.Macron previously unveiled a 10-billion-euro package of tax cuts and income top-ups for the working poor and pensioners in a bid to reconnect with voters. However, most yellow vests protesters accused the French president of taking their top demands off the table, including the return of a popular “solidarity tax” on the rich, which he had cut, as well as citizen-sponsored referendums.
The nationwide yellow vests protests erupted in mid-November over a proposed increase in fuel taxes, with the movement earning its name after the high-visibility vests that French motorists are required to carry in their cars.
Even though the government abandoned its plans, the rallies didn’t stop, having instead evolved into a broader movement against President Macron and his government, with many demanding that he resign.