Financial TimesFinancial Times

‘Pragmatic’ Le Pen re-emerges as main challenger to Macron in French election

By Victor Mallet and Leila Abboud

14 Mar 2022 · 4 min read

Four months ago — before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — there was everything to play for in the French presidential election, with rivals jostling to prevent Emmanuel Macron from winning a second term in the Elysée at the ballot box in April.

Eric Zemmour, the television talk-show polemicist, was mounting a serious challenge to Marine Le Pen as the champion of the French extreme right. Valérie Pécresse was set to win the primary for the conservative Les Républicains party and to be briefly rated by opinion polls as the biggest threat to Macron.

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