The proposed policies Melenchon wants to enact have worried investors
Those who derided a possible Marine Le Pen victory find themselves scrambling to counter the threat of the far-left candidate Melenchon who has been compared to the bumbling socialist Hugo Chavez.
The latest Ifop-Fiducial poll on Wednesday showed Le Pen winning 23.5 per cent, one point ahead of centrist Emmanuel Macron for the first round of voting on April 23.
Both Le Pen and Macron's support dipped by half a point from Tuesday while conservative Francois Fillon was stable on 19 per cent and Melenchon unchanged on 18.5 per cent.
Le Pen, who has been dubbed Madame Frexit, has promised to call referendums over France’s membership of the EU and the eurozone, but the hardline left-winger has copied the policy in a bid to steal votes.
Things you didn't know about Marine Le Pen
Wed, April 5, 2017
Marine Le Pen is a French politician who is the president of the National Front, a national-conservative political party in France and one of its main political forces.
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Described as more democratic and republican than her nationalist father, she has led a movement of "de-demonization of the Front National" to detoxify it and soften its image
Risk sentiment is not strong at the moment because of tensions in North Korea and also risk of a rising Melenchon
Yujiro Goto, a Nomura currency strategist, said: “Risk sentiment is not strong at the moment because of tensions in North Korea and also risk of a rising Melenchon.”
Even the outgoing socialist president Francois Hollande is concerned about Melenchon’s rising popularity, a man whose supporter’s created a video game in which players get to hit the rich named “Fiscal Kombat”.
The aim of which is to grab passing capitalists and shake them until money drops out of their pockets and is added to France’s coffers.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK, said: "What matters for investors is any threat to the euro.
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Macron is still the bookies favourite to be the new president of France
“The currency is under pressure as a result of the French presidential campaign.
“We maintain our call that the euro could reach a level of 1.03 against the dollar as we move closer to the final date, and if Marine Le Pen wins the first round, we could easily see the euro breaking this level."
The German finance minister has been outspoken in his dislike of Le Pen
After the second round of the presidential election in May, international attention will turn to the parliamentary elections in June.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said: “We need a pro-European France. I hope Le Pen does not become French president.”
Melenchon mocked those who worried about his presidential credentials, he said: “They announce that my winning the election would bring nuclear winter, a plague of frogs, Red Army tanks and the landing of the Venezuelans.”