Macron's party PANICS as latest European elections poll sees Le Pen taking the most seats

The bloc’s parliamentary elections are gearing up to be a major battle between centrist, pro-EU parties and far-right formations that want to up-end the status quo and end Brussels’ rule.  

RN’s polling has led to Mr Macron’s lead candidate warning of the dangers of a populist-run assembly. 

“The elections will have major consequences for Europe… but we cannot rely exclusively on the polls,” Nathalie Loiseau told AFP. 

Her comments came after an Ifop-Fiducial poll of voter intentions showed Mrs Le Pen’s anti-EU party winning 22.5 percent of the vote and Mr Macron’s La République en Marche (LREM) winning just 21.5 percent. 

The poll, conducted between April 29 and May 2 for Paris Match magazine, television channel CNews and Sud Radio, asked 1,404 French people who they would vote for if the elections were to be held the next Sunday. 

The conservative Les Républicains party is on 15 percent, while the green Europe Écologie-Les Verts group is seen winning 9 percent of the vote and the far-left La France Insoumise 8.5 percent, according to Ifop-Fiducial. 

A separate poll by OpinionWay-Tilder for Les Echos newspaper and Radio Classique showed Mrs Le Pen’s RN with a three-percentage point lead over the LREM. 

The poll put the RN at 24 percent and the LREM at 21 percent. 

A third poll also published on Thursday showed the rival parties running neck-and-neck at around 21 percent.

The BVA Orange survey for Europe 1 radio and financial newspaper La Tribune showed the LREM at 22 percent and the RN at 21 percent. 

A number of other polls have shown a rebound in Mrs Le Pen’s popularity in the last few weeks, in a sign parts of the French public approve of her eurosceptic line.  

French minister Marc Fesneau, who is in charge of relations with the parliament, tried to downplay Mrs Le Pen’s strong poll numbers on Friday.

“[The polls] mean nothing because the French haven’t gotten into the swing of the EU campaign yet,” he told Sud Radio, before admitting that the election battle would be “difficult” and warning voters against “far-right parties like the RN bent on deconstructing Europe”.

Nationalist parties plan to join forces following the election, looking to create a new bloc to shake up the EU.

The parliamentary group would be called the European Alliance for People and Nations.

It will initially involve at least 10 parties drawn from the three groups that currently house various nationalist forces.

The RN has pledged to join the bloc, launched by Italy’s far-right chief and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.

The move shows growing confidence amongst nationalist parties they can win enough seats in parliament to have a major say in how the bloc is run. 

“We can propose a new Europe because we have never governed in Brussels,” Mr Salvini told a news conference last month. 

“Our goal is to be decisive, to nominate new commissioners in the commission,” he continued, referring to the bloc’s powerful executive branch that oversees policy-making.

While Europe’s sovereignist parties share the common goals of freeing their countries from the shackles of Brussels and further curbing immigration, they often have opposing economic and social policies, making it hard to create a unified group within the EU parliament. 

The OpinionWay-Tilder poll of 1,930 people was conducted between April 24-30; while the BVA Orange poll of 1,397 people was conducted between April 30 and May 2.

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