Conservative candidate Marine Le Pen of the National Front has taken a commanding lead over her rivals Nicolas Sarkovsky and Jean-Luc Melenchon in the French presidential election according to recent polls. Her sudden popularity in the polls is being attributed to the recent victory of president-elect Donald Trump.
With less than a year before the election in France, a new poll was released showing the estimated support for the country’s three political frontrunners. Based on the results of the poll, Le Pen was able to secure 29 percent of the votes and is currently eight points ahead of Sarkovsky, France’s former President. Trailing behind the two is Melenchon of the Left Party, according to Independent.
Last week, socialist French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said during an economic conference in Berlin that Le Pen’s victory in the upcoming election is possible due to the current trend in international politics. Valls cited Trump’s stunning win in the recent U.S. election as proof of the sudden changes of the political environment.
Le Pen, known as a far-right conservative, admitted recently that she was motivated by the result of the U.S. election.
“[Trump] made possible what had previously presented impossible,” she said. “So it’s really the victory of the people against the elites.”
“If I can draw a parallel with France, then yes, I wish that in France also the people upend the table, around which the elites are dividing up what should go to the French people,” she added.
But aside from Trump’s victory, another factor that could be pushing the sudden support for Le Pen is the current immigration crisis. Following in the footsteps of her father and National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, she has maintained a strong platform against illegal immigrants.
In France, support for this movement has grown following Britain’s move to depart from the European Union through the Brexit referendum.