Zemmour on course for second round of French presidential vote, poll shows

Latest survey shows controversial talk-show host ahead of Marine Le Pen, but behind Emmanuel Macron

Posters for hard-right talk-show star Eric Zemmour in Biarritz, south-western France, on October 26. AP
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A poll has French right-wing talk-show host Eric Zemmour making it to the second round of the presidential election in April along with President Emmanuel Macron.

The survey confirmed earlier polls in which Mr Zemmour overtook far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

The TV star, who has twice been convicted of inciting hatred, has dominated the French airwaves in recent months with provocative comments about Islam, immigrants and women.

An Ifop-Fiducial poll for newspaper Le Figaro and TV station LCI, published by BFM TV, showed Mr Zemmour would win 17 per cent of the first-round vote, well behind Macron with 25 per cent.

But he was just ahead of Ms Le Pen on 16 per cent, with conservative Xavier Bertrand gathering 13 per cent. Mr Bertrand is still to win the primary for Les Republicains party.

Mr Zemmour and Mr Macron have not yet said whether they will run.

For more than a year, polls have shown Rassemblement National party leader Marine Le Pen easily making it into the second round, setting her up for a repeat of the 2017 election.

Then she won 21.3 per cent of the votes in round one but lost to Mr Macron's 66.1 per cent in round two.

But last month two polls showed Mr Zemmour jumping into second place for the first time, as the RN party has dominated the French far-right for decades.

An October 6 Harris Interactive poll showed him winning 17 per cent in round one, up four points on a late September poll and ahead of Ms Le Pen's 15 per cent.

An October 22 poll by Ipsos Sopra Steria also put Mr Zemmour in the run-off vote, with 16 to 16.5 per cent in round one compared with 15 to 16 per cent for Ms Le Pen.

In his latest controversial remarks, Mr Zemmour told BFM on Sunday that women earned less than men because they chose low-paying professions.

While he has not officially declared a run for the presidency, he told BFM that an organisation had been set up that is preparing for a possible bid.

"Everything is ready," Mr Zemmour said. "All I have to do is decide and push the button. I decide when and how."

Updated: November 08, 2021, 5:46 AM