Marine Le Pen Leads French Presidential Poll

01/29/2015 02:51 pm ET
  • Alana Horowitz The Huffington Post
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The leader of France's far-right National Front party came out on top in a new poll on potential 2017 presidential candidates. The survey, published in Marianne on Thursday, pitted Marine Le Pen against French President Francois Hollande, former President Nicolas Sarkozy and other potential candidates.

"If the first ballot would take place today," the magazine wrote, " she would gather between 29 and 31 percent of the votes, depending on the adversaries."

According to the poll, former President Nicolas Sarkozy would come in second if the elections took place today. French President Francois Hollande, who has battled low approval rates throughout his first term, would not make it to the second round.

The poll comes weeks after the deadly terror attacks on the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris by three radicalized Muslims. While Marianne details that it's unclear what effects the attacks had on the results of the poll, Le Pen and the National Front, known for their proposals to reduce the number of immigrants in France and their criticism of Islam, have used the assaults to draw attention to their program.

"I have been warning of the danger of Muslim fundamentalism in our country for years," Le Pen said in the wake of the attacks.

Le Pen is the daughter of National Front founder and controversial French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen. Since she took over the National Front's leadership, the party has surged to the top of the polls. The latest survey by polling firm BVA puts the party's popularity at 28 percent, just two percentage points shy of President Hollande's Socialist Party. Marine Le Pen ran for president unsuccessfully in 2012.

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