French presidential race is growing harder to predict as it is getting closer to polling day. The voting for first round will be held on April 23rd. An Ipsos-Sopra Sterna poll, published on April 14th, shows that it will be a four way race. The main contenders- Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and François Fillon, are all within the three percentage point. Le Pen and Macron are tied at 22%. Mélenchon and Fillon are at 20 % and 19% respectively. Polls also suggest that one third of the voters might abstain from voting.
The voter survey of March, 2017 showed that Macron and Le Pen tied at 25%. Whereas, Fillon was at 17.5% and Mélenchon at 15%. The race has become tighter in the small span of one month.
The major left candidate Mélenchon has gained substantive support jumping 5 points in one month. He has promised to withdraw France from NATO. He also supports universal basic salary. Analysts suggest that if young and working class voters’ turn out is big then he might gain from that.
At the moment the race is too close to call. One thing is for sure that these new numbers suggest that French voters are looking for alternatives outside the mainstream politics.