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2/3 of hard left voters refuse to endorse centrist frontrunner Macron

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-03 08:54
2/3 of hard left voters refuse to endorse centrist frontrunner Macron

Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election, attends a campaign rally in Paris, France, May 1, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - Two thirds of hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon's supporters refused to back centrist Emmanuel Macron in his bid to govern France for the next five years, his party staff announced Tuesday.

The anti-capitalist "France Unbowed" movement, whose representative in the presidential election (Melenchon) failed to pass to the second round of voting, launched a "refusal of what's happening," said Charlotte Girard, co-head of the hard-left party's program.

Its results showed that only a third of the party's members said they would endorse Macron in a second round compared to 36.1 percent who said they would cast blank vote and 29.05 percent who said they would abstain from voting.

"Casting a blank vote or abstaining are a way to say 'no' to the National Front, but also to say that the Macron option is not desirable," she added.

On April 23, Melenchon won 19.58 percent of the first round of votes, failing to make it to the run-off despite reporting spectacular public support days before the election officially kicked off.

During the campaign, he was a harsh critic of Macron's liberal economic project and Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration policy. However, he proposed a similar protectionist approach involving an exit from the eurozone and refused to endorse either of the top two candidates.

A poll released earlier on Tuesday predicted Macron would win the French presidency, despite having lost ground to his rival Le Pen, the leader of the National Front Party.

On May 7, the former economy minister is expected to defeat Le Pen with 59 percent of the votes to her 41 percent, according to Elabe survey for BFMTV news channel and L'Express magazine.

Five days ahead of the decisive round of the French presidential elections, Macron lost five percentage points compared to a poll conducted on April 24.

A total of 18 percent of 3,956 respondents said they were sure to head to the polling station on Sunday; but they were still undecided as to which candidate to vote for.

 

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