France’s far-right candidate Zemmour wins support from Marine Le Pen’s niece

French far-right commentator Eric Zemmour, leader of the far-right “Reconquete!” and candidate for the 2022 French presidential election, visits the 58th International Agricultural Show (Salon de l’Agriculture) at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

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PARIS, March 6 (Reuters) – Far-right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour has won support from the niece of Marine Le Pen – his main far-right rival, underscoring the fractured opposition to President Emmanuel Macron that could increase Macron’s chances of re-election.

Marion Maréchal Le Pen, who is also the granddaughter of French far-right figurehead Jean Marie Le Pen, gave her endorsement during a rally of Zemmour supporters in Toulon, southern France , Sunday.

“There is a great national movement behind your candidacy,” Marion Maréchal Le Pen told the Toulon rally.

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She also told the magazine Valeurs Actuelles during the meeting that she shared Zemmour’s views on France facing a “battle of civilisations”.

“With regard to the term battle of civilizations, I obviously include questions of migration, culture and demography,” Marion Maréchal Le Pen told Valeurs Actuelles.

Zemmour has recently poached several people from Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National party, although he has also begun to lose ground in opinion polls. Read more

Splits between France’s far-right parties as well as similar splits between left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party and the more left-wing La France Insoumise party, are seen as benefiting Macron.

Opinion polls indicate that Macron will be re-elected in April.

A poll published this weekend by Le Monde newspaper showed that Macron’s lead over rival candidates had increased following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Read more

The invasion of Russia forced Marine Le Pen and Zemmour, usually Russophiles, to justify their past support for Putin.

Macron officially launched his re-election campaign earlier this month, saying he was there to defend France’s values ​​which “the disorders of the world threaten”. Read more

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Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Richard Lough/Sudip Kar-Gupta

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