Watch out Emmanuel! Macron faces unexpected challenger in French election

Emmanuel Macron: Polls show Marine Le Pen's popularity rising

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Controversial journalist Éric Zemmour could be tempted to run in the French presidential election after a recent Ifop poll revealed 13 percent of people would vote for the political journalist. 

The poll, commissioned by magazine Valeurs actuelles, asked: “Would you be willing to vote for Éric Zemmour if he was a candidate in the next presidential election in 2022?”

13 percent of 1,019 people surveyed from February 9-10 said they would – a surprising figure considering his controversial past.

The commentator has a history of sparking controversy and backlash with his political views.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Macron’s popularity has plummetted in polls.

Last month, the French President was warned the slow vaccine rollout across his country could hurt his chances of re-election.

Jessica Hinds, a European economist at Capital Economics, said: “Although the 2022 presidential election still seems a long way off, President Macron is certainly worried that a poorly-executed vaccine rollout now will harm his chances of winning another term.

“A slow pace of vaccination would limit the government’s ability to lift restrictions that are taking their toll on the economy and people’s daily lives.

“This would clearly be unpopular among (French) voters, particularly if other countries such as Germany are able to remove them sooner.”

The pace of the vaccine rollout has been criticised by the French president who said it was “not worthy of the moment or of the French poll” and said the situation “must change quickly and notably”.

In October last year, a poll by Elabe found 63 percent of people said they disapproved of Mr Macron, which was an increase of six points.

While only 32 percent said they approved of him, a drop of three from the previous poll in September.

The French President has been widely criticised for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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To date, more than 3,000,000 have tested positive across France, one of the biggest in Europe behind the UK.

France has recorded 83,393 deaths which is the third highest in Europe behind the UK and Italy.

And this week Mr Macron faced a fresh crisis when politicians turned on his recommendation that richer nations should send vaccines to developing states.

National Rally MEP Dominique Bilde said: “This comes from a President that only got 500 people vaccinated in a week…”

Echoing her comments, France Insoumise MEP Manon Aubry said: “New episode of Macron contradicting himself.

He is furious that Africa does not have vaccines while France refuses to eliminate patents.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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