French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, embroiled in a scandal involving salaries paid to his wife for work she may not have done, would not get through to the runoff vote for the presidency, a BVA poll showed on Saturday. Saskia O'Donoghue reports
Francois Fillon is not likely to get through to the run off vote for the French presidency, according to a new election poll. The survey conducted by French pollsters BVA show a slide in ratings for the French conservative presidential candidate after he became embroiled in a scandal involving salaries paid to his wife for work she may not have done. The news will come as a blow to the former prime minister who had previously been seen as the frontrunner. And now it seems likely that the conservatives will join their left wing counterparts in most likely having no candidate in the final stages of the election. The chance of having a democratic candidate in the run offs has all but ended, chiefly due to the unpopularity of current president Francoise Hollande. The poll gave Fillon between 18 and 20 percent of the vote in the April 23 first round, behind far-right leader Marine Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen, who heads the anti-immigrant National Front is projected to lose to Macron in the May 7 knockout by 34 percent to his 66. Another poll released on Friday (February 3) showed a similar slide in support for Fillon since the scandal emerged but he has vowed to fight what he called a "demolition exercise".