Not necessarily. The two candidates with the most votes in the first round (April 23rd) will face each other in a second-round vote two weeks later (May 7). One of those two candidates is likely to be Le Pen, but that has been true for months, even before Penelopegate cast its shadow over Fillon’s campaign. Because of the negative perception the majority of French voters have for the FN, however, whichever candidate also goes through to the second round with Le Pen will probably win the election. At the moment, that candidate would likely be Macron.
The results of two polls released today (details here [in French, but the numbers are universally understandable]) predict a defeat for Le Pen in the second round if her opponent is Macron. The second poll listed, “PrésiTrack,” even projects a Fillon victory over Le Pen if he makes it through to the second round. I have learned not to accept poll results as fact but there are few other indicators aside from personal experience, which can never be all-encompassing.
I leave room in the universe for a Le Pen victory when all is said and done, but I don’t see it as a done deal or even the most likely scenario.
Those around me support Fillon and have said they will continue to do so through the first-round vote or until he withdraws. However, if he quits or is defeated in the first round they won’t vote for Le Pen. I realize this is hardly a defining comment on France as a whole, but I can only speak from my own experience.
For those who do not know, I am an American residing in France for more than 15 years.