PARIS (Reuters) - French far-right leader Marine Le Pen would still win the first round of the next presidential election, an opinion poll showed on Thursday, despite a boost in President Francois Hollande’s popularity ratings following militant attacks in Paris.
Three Islamist gunmen killed 17 people earlier this month in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The attacks had been widely expected to increase support for Le Pen and her anti-immigrant National Front party, but instead Hollande, a Socialist, saw a spectacular revival in his dismal ratings after his calm handling of the crisis.
However, the survey by pollsters Ifop for left-leaning magazine Marianne showed Le Pen would win 29 to 31 percent of the vote — up from 26 percent in the previous survey and more than Hollande — in the first round of the 2017 presidential election, based on people’s current voting intentions.
The survey showed Hollande winning 21 percent and not making it to the second and final round.
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy and ex-prime minister Alain Juppe, both of the conservative UMP party, and Hollande’s prime minister Manuel Valls would all do better than him, with 23 percent in the first round, the survey of 983 voters showed.
However, Le Pen would not be elected president even in a head-to-head against Hollande, with a highest predicted score of 45 percent in a second-round run-off, the poll showed.
Hollande’s poll rating shot up to 40 percent in an Ifop telephone survey for Paris Match and Sud Radio carried out on Jan. 16-17 after the militant attacks — an unprecedented gain of 21 points on his December rating and his highest level for nearly two years.
Reporting by Gerard Bon; Editing by Gareth Jones