[Update April 19 at 14:44 - The latest poll accords 56% of the vote to Mr Macron, 44% to Ms Le Pen.]
Marine Le Pen will face president-candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election vote on April 24.
An early Ifop poll published the night of the first round (April 10) had the two candidates neck-and-neck, with Mr Macron on 51% and Le Pen on 49%.
But Mr Macron’s lead is slowly stretching. Ifop’s rolling poll, which is updated daily, shows he is currently on 53%.
Connexion readers told us how they would feel if Ms Le Pen, known for her far-right views, wins the election with some saying they may have to leave the country if her ‘priorité nationale’ policy becomes a reality. One said she admired her desire to “put French people first.”
Against Le Pen
‘Dogma and sound bites’
“Without doubt the possibility of Le Pen winning fills me with the same feelings of insecurity that Brexit and Johnson's government have done,” one Connexion reader said.
“She already aligns with Putin and has no policies for the benefit of France, just 'Faragist' dogma and sound bites. When will liberal values return?
“I'm glad I'm towards the end of my life, but still may try to move elsewhere if the vile party wins.”
Another resident said that he “would definitely leave after 30 years” if Ms Le Pen became president.
An Australian citizen and Connexion reader who is planning to retire to France in October or November of this year said that the idea of Ms Le Pen becoming president “scares me as her comments and references to being French for the French and blocking out foreigners could potentially prevent me from obtaining residential status.”
“I own my own house in France and intend to be a permanent and active member of the community.
“All these years of waiting to get here permanently could be wiped out by the stroke of her presidential pen!”
A resident of France who has lived there with his wife for the last 28 years, “paid all our taxes, spent several thousand francs/euros on property renovation and restoration [and] always purchased materials locally,” called Ms Le Pen’s campaign proposals “diabolical and very dangerous, not only for us but for France.”
“We are in the ‘system’ and if we were to lose our social benefits we would almost certainly have to leave this country.
"I have had my house in France for nearly 15 years and have residency," one reader stated. "If Le Pen were to win I would put my house up for sale. She is a fascist wolf in sheep's clothing and I don't see how people can't see this especially in a country which was occupied by the Nazis.
"The France I love would be over if she won and would become a country of hatred, division. I am not a Macron fan and he is partly to blame but if I had a vote I would be voting for him to stop Le Pen. I just hope the decent French majority see it the same way."
Another commented: "Do the French people not realise that leaving NATO and its security blanket puts us at the peril of Putin? This is what he wants: disunity of the West and Le pen is playing right into the trap.
"Her policies will damage the French people. This is how Hitler started: one country at a time.
"The young people of France must wake up and smell the coffee, their grandparents have the memories of a dictatorship. Just look across the Chanel and see what damage Brexit has done to the UK and its standing in the world.
"After 20 years of loving our life in France, we will have to think very seriously about leaving if Le Pen takes control."
‘Sickened by the thought’
One reader, who separates his time between London and Ardèche, stated: “We are sickened by the thought that Mme Le Pen may be the next president.
“But we are even more sickened by the UK’s Brexit and nearly all the UK politics and policy decisions since.
“So we are feeling that we no longer belong in either country.”
Another wrote: “A vote for Le Pen is akin to a vote for Hitler. Yet people did vote for Hitler,” with another adding: “Fight Le Pen! I ask my local friends and family to vote Macron.”
‘Macron is the most suitable’
“I would hate it if Le Pen got in,” said another reader with French and British citizenship. “The National Front/Rally have been so divisive for as long as I can remember, and long before we ever thought of moving to France.
“[Le Pen] has softened her stance recently as her previous vitriol has not paid dividends and this does appear to have helped her gain more votes.
“Macron may not be the most popular person in France – which president is by the end of their tenure? – but to my mind he is the most suitable with his financial acumen, his contacts and already having been in the job for five years.
“Fortunately, I am French and British now so my place in France is secure. Whichever way the vote goes, she cannot get rid of me, unless she messes with the laws that are currently in place for those who have gained French nationality, unhappily for those going through the process.
“I think Le Pen would be a disaster for France for so many reasons.”
These sentiments were shared by another couple of readers, who said: "We do hope that the French pull off their usual trick of getting their angst out of the way in the first round, and being sensible in the second.
"Le Pen as president would be very bad news indeed."
Pro Le Pen
‘Time to put French people first’
The above view was not shared by all. One reader commented: “I would celebrate if Le Pen wins. It is time to put French people first. What is wrong with that?
“Countries generally put their citizens first and it ought to be a privilege to live in a country that adopts you as a foreigner, not an automatic right to benefits at French taxpayer expense.”
This was seconded by another reader, who said: "I feel it would be good for France to have Le Pen's complete and fresh hand on the tiller. For all his bluster and derisive words Macron is tired with no real understanding of what France needs in this troubled time. I believe Le Pen can be a Maggie Thatcher for France.
"The EU has been hijacked by [the] leftist, woke, cancel culture gang. Le Pen will not take France out of the EU but she will blow a hurricane of fresh air and sanity though Europe and many countries will support her."
Another reader argued that Le Pen is “not ‘far-right. If she were, she would not be polling nearly 50%.
“Macron is a centrist globalist and Le Pen is a sovereignist. This has been the divide since successive French governments declared themselves more in favour of Brussels than of its own population."
This view was challenged by another reader, who said: "I find it very difficult to absorb how pro-Le Pen commenters do not seem to understand how the so-called “sovereignist” Ms Le Pen has softened her fascist, racist rhetoric in order to get elected.
"Is this where the country I love and have been resident of for 11 years is going? The far right re-emergence in Europe is frightening. Did people learn nothing at all from the last World War?"
Thank you to all of the Connexion readers who took the time to email us their views. If you would like to share your views on the idea of Marine Le Pen winning this year’s election, please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments may be included in a further article but you will be kept anonymous unless you say otherwise.