France: Fillon holds steady in early Opinionway rolling polls

It is now one week since French pollster Opinionway launched its daily ‘rolling’ Presidential election survey, Présitrack, with a 500-strong cohort of respondents moving in and out of the figures daily and around 1500 participants in total. (Like many activities in French life, ‘daily’ excludes the weekend – so we have seven surveys to assess since the first on Monday 6 February).


Rodez Cathedral at sunset, Aveyron, France. Photo: Andrew Cornwell. All rights reserved.


Opinionway, with partners financial publisher Les Echos, estate agent network ORPI and Radio Classique, shows a slightly different view from competitor Ifop/Fiducial which started its ‘rolling’ poll on 1 February.

The main difference is that mainstream conservative contender Francois Fillon is holding up at a consistent level of 20 per cent support with Opinionway, compared to 17.5 to 18.5 per cent with Ifop over the same period, 19 per cent with Harris Interactive (9 Feb) and just 17 per cent with Elabe (8 Feb).  The slight gap is probably accounted for by Opinionway not placing centrist Francois Bayrou in their list of candidates while all other pollsters do. The MoDem leader, who is still weighing up whether or not to run, is picking up about 5 per cent of voting intentions with most pollsters.

Otherwise Opinionway’s data is broadly in line with other surveys. Marine Le Pen looks solidly entrenched on 24 to 27 per cent, with Socialist contender Benoit Hamon consistently on 14 to 16 per cent and independent Emmanuel Macron moving little at between 21 and 23 per cent backing. Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon scored between 11 and 13 per cent over the period.

The narrower gap between Fillon and second-placed Macron – just 1 per cent in two of the seven surveys, and tied in another – should give the former Prime Minister a ray of hope to qualify for the run-off, as his campaign continues to be sapped by daily media focus on his financial affairs.

Second round prospects from Opinionway are also very much in line with ‘the market’. In each Présitrack so far, Macron is shown as strolling to victory over Le Pen, picking up between 62 and 66 per cent second round support.

Methodology: Online poll. Full results updated daily on the Opinionway and Les Echos websites.


Photograph: Rodez Cathedral at sunset, Aveyron, France. Photo: Andrew Cornwell. All rights reserved.


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