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June 29, 2021 - Former insurance salesman, Xavier Bertrand, has emerged as a leading contender for next year’s French presidential election between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
Bertrand’s centre-right bloc out-performed rivals in France’s regional votes at the weekend, turning the 2022 election into a turning the 2022 election into a three-way contest, according to Reuters.
The parties of Macron and Le Pen both suffered major setbacks, with the ruling Republic on the Move (LREM) decimated in both rounds of voting and the far-right National Rally (RN) failing in its aim to win a region for the first time, AFP said.
An IPSOS/Sopra Steria poll late on Sunday showed Bertrand’s popularity climbing nationwide. It projected he would win 18% of the first round presidential vote, up several points on previous polls and narrowing the gap on Macron and Le Pen, Reuters said.