French election: Odds of Macron Presidency improved after Dutch election


A defeat of European populism in the Netherlands is radiating through the region's markets.

Since taking over from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011, Marine Le Pen has sought to improve the anti-immigration party's image, making it more mainstream and distancing it from its founder's past antisemitism.

Although polls show Le Pen taking the largest share of the vote in the first round of the election next month, she is expected to lose in the decisive run-off.

Conservative Francois Fillon, an ex-prime minister who has slipped behind Le Pen and Macron after being the frontrunner, said the Dutch result underlined that opinion polls are flawed.

In a statement, he said he has, in no way, denied "the reality of the Holocaust".

Le Pen also avoided the prospect of answering questions on the allegations that her party siphoned off money from Brussels to fund party expenses in France.

Ms Le Pen has promised to attempt to radically renegotiate France's relationship with the European Union if she becomes president and then hold a referendum on its membership, with signs pointing to a potential "Frexit" if she wins.

Marine Le Pen, the FN's leader, seeks to win the first round of French presidential election in late April.

The clip of Mr Loeuillet is part of a documentary on the National Front, which is set to air on Wednesday. He said the rise in the number of seats won by the party, to 20 from 15, was a "partial victory even if not the final victory".

Frédéric Chatillon and two other party officials already face trial accused of setting up a scheme to overcharge for campaign expenses that were reimbursed by the state during the 2012 general election campaign.

"That is where the populist action is and that is what we should be focusing upon", she said.

Surveys regularly show that upwards of three-quarters of pro-Le Pen respondents are already absolutely certain they will vote for her.

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