MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, the Socialist Party held first round of primaries, with French former Prime Minister Manuel Valls and ex-Minister of Education Hamon entering the second round with the latter topping the poll ahead of the second round this weekend. Hamon is considered to be the most left-leaning among candidates in the Socialist race who from the start proposed a flagship welfare reform, which involves giving all citizens a basic wage and stood for France’s 35-hour work week, which many critics say is already too short.
"Concerning the Socialist primaries, it could be bad news for [The Republicans’ presidential nominee Francois] Fillon. Hamon belongs to the left side of the French Socialist party. His proposals seem unreasonable in the area of economics. Thus if he is to win next Sunday, many socialists could rally Macron. Leaving [Jean-Luc] Melenchon and Hamon on the far-left, Macron being able to rally the left and center left but also those from the center-right frightened by the liberal solutions concerning the administration proposed by Fillon," Nicolas Dhuicq said.
Fillon, who won The Republicans primaries in November 2016 gained a solid popular support of all the right-wing forces after Alain Juppe and Nicolas Sarkozy have declared their support for the chosen candidate of the right forces, in order to win the race needs to appeal to the French center voters who are so far were concerned with promised by Fillon civil-service jobs’ cuts, the lawmaker explained.
The poll by BVA published on January 12 that put Macron on the third place for first round of the presidential elections in April also confirmed that Macron continued to gain supporters and was doing better and better with projections of 16 percent if Valls is the Socialist candidate and of 20 percent in case the winner of Socialist primaries is ex-Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg, another former Education Minister Vincent Peillon and Hamon.
The National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, and The Republicans' candidate Fillon are expected to lead during the first round of the French presidential election. According to polls, any Socialist candidate will lag behind former Economy Minister Macron, and leftist Melenchon, both running as independents.