Jean-Marie Le Pen, the National Front candidate who startled everyone by entering the second round last election, may not even make it to the first. Every candidate must gather 500 sponsorships from elected officials, but because of a new law requiring that these names be released, Le Pen is finding it much more difficult to gather the necessary number.
Today Le Pen did not say exactly how many he has gathered, but attempted to convey a message of confidence:
"I currently do not have the number of signatures necessary. Let us say between 450 and 500, it is very insufficient so that I feel at ease."
Le Pen had hoped to receive over a hundred such signatures when his rival Bruno Mégret decided to support him several months ago, but that promise has failed to materialize. Instead, Le Pen will have to continue asking, and hoping, to have enough sponsoships by the March 16 deadline. I don't get the feeling there's much doubt that he will eventually have enough, but such difficulties do not help energize a campaign. Le Pen has already seen himself fall from 17% in the polls to now several points below Francois Bayrou, but apparently he continues as ever. A news conference is scheduled for Monday.
Technorati tags:Le Pen, politics, politique, présidentielle, actualité, news, France