GETTY – REUTERS
Marine Le Pen has taken the lead in polling ahead of the election
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen now holds between 25 and 26 per cent of support compared with presidential favourite François Fillion.
Her rival and former frontman from Les Republicans party has only received between 23 and 25 per cent so far, according to an Ipsos Sopra Steria poll.
He held a three-point lead over Le Pen in December with 28 per cent support, but her ratings have soared in the days surrounding the inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday.
Le Pen is hoping to ride the same wave of populist sentiment that helped to secure the victory for the now president, who was sworn in yesterday.
Donald Trump was sworn into the White House at the inauguration yesterday
Marine Le Pen is now a few points ahead of her rival
Last week she revealed she would like to see the production of French vehicles and other industrial goods return to France, just as Trump pledged to do in the United States.
She said: "He (Trump) is putting in place measures I have been demanding for years."
FACTS about Marine Le Pen
Wed, November 23, 2016
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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A French politician who is the president of the National Front (FN), a national-conservative political party in France and one of its main political forces.
Donald Trump is putting in place measures I have been demanding for years
Marine Le Pen, National Front leader and French presidential candidate
Speaking on France 2 Television, she described the policy as "economic patriotism [and] intelligent protectionism" before adding: “I don't mind explaining to French companies that they cannot escape tax that they should be paying in France, that they cannot go offshore without suffering the consequences.
“A choice has to be made, a choice of patriotism."
The National Front leader also echoed Mr Trump’s sentiments on immigration, demanding migrant children are not given access to French public schools.
Fillion held a three-point lead over Le Pen in December
She has been a sharp critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy, which has seen millions of migrants flee to Germany in recent years.
Speaking in November, she said: “We cannot take care of hundreds of thousands of people arriving here, because our first obligation is to protect the French people.”
Marine Le Pen now holds between 25 and 26 per cent of support
Trump was propelled to victory on a populist ticket
And she even repeated Mr Trump’s praise of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, having regularly praised him as a like-minded “patriot” and a bulwark against encroachments on "traditional" European values.
But despite her growing support, Mr Fillon is still expected to beat the far-right leader in a second round runoff in May.
The survey also revealed the support for lesser-known candidates or those standing as independents.
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January 20th, 2017. Donald Trump is sworn in as 45th President of America.
Former economy minister Emmanuel Macron has risen to third place with the support of 17 to 20 per cent.
While former prime minister Manuel Valls received between nine and 10 per cent of voting intentions – dropping points since the last poll in December.
And socialist candidates Benoît Hamon and Arnaud Montebourg both received only seven per cent of the support.
The survey, conducted on behalf of French newspaper La Monde, polled a total of 15,921 people aged 18 and over between 10 and 15 January.