Far-right Marine Le Pen set to lose French presidency
The far right candidate for French president is on course to lose.
For the first time, poLls show Marine Le Pen behind in the first round of voting.
The French presidency involves two rounds of voting – the first with all candidates, then the top two, who go through to the second and final round of voting.
Emmanuel Macron, the moderate, centrist candidate is in the lead for the first round of voting for the first time.
The new poll has him leading with 26%, while Le Pen is on 25%, and right-wing candidate Fillon at 20%.
Macron has faced unsubstantiated rumours about his sexuality during the election campaign.
He labelled the rumours as “vile homophobic” slurs that there is no evidence for.
But other polls have revealed surprising trends in voting intentions.
Nearly one in five French gay men are voting for far-right Presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen.
Despite pledging to scrap same-sex marriage, Le Pen has recently made inroads with conservative gay voters by playing off concerns about Islamic extremism.
Of the 3200 men polled by the app, 19.2% are voting for Le Pen, slightly lower than her standing nationally, with a whopping 38.1% preferring centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who recently vowed to champion LGBT rights.
Left-winger Benoît Hamon is third-placed among gay men on 18.5%, despite low support in the national polls; while scandal-plagued anti-LGBT conservative Francois Fillon attracted just 7.3% of gay voters despite being tied with Macron nationally.
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LGBT rights were not a top priority for respondents, with work, education and security all ranked as more important.
Le Pen’s plan to axe same-sex marriage was details in her 144-point manifesto.
Buried midway through the lengthy document at number 87, Le Pen promises to create an “improved” form of civil unions in the country to “replace” the equal marriage law passed under the current Socialist government in 2013.
The policy plan specifies that the changes would “not be retroactive”, sparing Le Pen the legal headache of trying to unpick or downgrade thousands of existing same-sex marriages, but the replacement plan would close same-sex marriage to new couples – meaning gays would once again only be able to enter civil partnerships.
It would be a return to the former status quo for France, which only permitted same-sex couples to enter a contractual form of civil union (PACS) from 1999 until 2013.