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More Than Half of French Shun Pre-Vote Candidate Withdrawals

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A majority of the French have described pacts made by the centrists and the left pre-election to stop the right-wing National Rally from sweeping into power as fraud, an Elabe poll out Wednesday showed.

President Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble coalition and the New Popular Front said ahead of last Sunday’s runoff they would put up a united front against Marine Le Pen’s National Rally after it pulled far ahead of its rivals in the first round of voting. They withdrew hundreds of candidate to put strongest ones forward, allowing the left to come first in the second round.

The survey conducted by Elabe among 1,002 voters from July 9-10 found that 52% of those polled saw efforts to create advantage for their candidates as “fraud” and “unnatural political alliances.” A further 45% called this behavior normal.

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The poll also found that 71% of respondents were dissatisfied with the hung parliament produced by the inconclusive vote. Of them, 32% said they were “extremely dissatisfied” with the newly formed parliament, while 29% said they were satisfied.

Six in 10 respondents said it was a bad idea to dissolve the parliament, compared to 34% who welcomed Macron’s decision. On June 15, 58% called the snap election the right move, versus 41% who thought otherwise.

Some 38% of those sampled said they wanted Gabriel Attal to remain prime minister in the new government, 35% said they would support National Rally leader Jordan Bardell, while 31% opted for center-left Place Publique’s Raphael Glucksmann.

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