POLL: A majority of French people still see Marine Le Pen's party as a danger to democracy

  • New poll shows 58% of French people believe the Front National is a danger to democracy.
  • Only 42% think Marine Le Pen would be able to gather votes outside of her support base.
  • 22% of French people want to leave the Eurozone and go back to the French franc.

A new poll shows that Marine Le Pen’s “de-demonisation” campaign of party has not gone as well as she might have hoped.

58% of French people still think that her far-right party, the Front National (FN), is a danger to democracy, a poll, conducted by KANTAR Sofres – OnePoint for French media organisations Franceinfo and Le Monde in February, shows.

Although that percentage of people has fallen from 15 years ago (from 1980 to around 2002, 70% thought the FN was a danger to democracy), it diminished by 11 percentage points from 2013 when only 47% thought the party was a danger to democracy.

Ever since Le Pen took over from her father at the head of the FN, she has led a “de-demonisation” campaign of the party, to make the far-right party more palatable to the mainstream voter. She has aimed to rid the party of its anti-Semitic and racist connotations and softened her stance on some of the most divisive issues such as abortions, gay rights and the death penalty.

One of the biggest hiccups to a win for the FN though is a clear disapproval of one of her main campaign promises: leaving the Eurozone. Only 22% of French voters agree with her idea of leaving the euro and going back to the franc, compared to a third of people five years ago.

Even among her followers, the idea is not extremely popular with 64% of them thinking it is a good idea.

Another critical number for Le Pen is the fact that only 42% of people who were asked believe she will be able to gather votes beyond her support base, a 7 percentage point drop from last year.

64% of French people also say they have never voted for the FN, while 17% say they already have and intend to do so again. Another 12% have never voted for the far-right party but consider doing it this year.

Polls currently show Le Pen narrowly beating independent Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the elections, but ultimately losing out to either Macron or embattled conservative candidate Fran├žois Fillon. The first round of voting will take place in April and the second in May.

The poll surveyed 1006 people during face-to-face interviews conducted between February 23 and 27.

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