Le Pen says abstain
Marine Le Pen, the presidential candidate of the far right National Front (FN) who was knocked out of the race in the first round on Sunday, has advised her supporters to abstain.
Le Pen refused to endorse either second round candidate which will give a slight advantage to the Socialist candidate François Hollande.
All the opinion polls to date have given Hollande around 56% of the vote in the second round with incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy on 44%.
Meanwhile Sarkozy has accused Hollande of being ‘scared’ because he has refused to enter into three debates in the final two weeks of the campaign. Hollande’s campaign team have confirmed that their candidate will undertake the one traditional debate that takes place in the second round.
Sarkozy, who is looking increasingly entrenched, is planning a major May Day rally, normally the day that the Socialists would organise a big worker’s rally.
François Bayrou, the centrist candidate who took 9.1% of the vote on Sunday, has remained very quiet. In 2007 he refused to endorse any candidate. Polls suggest that Sarkozy would receive about one third of Bayrou’s votes in the second round. That is not enough to win.
The second round takes place on 6th May.