In this year’s presidential contest, Francois Fillon continues to hold a formidable lead among French voters who are practicing Catholics, a new survey shows.
From the article quoted in the OP:
The poll by the weekly Famille Chrétienne found that 49% of the voters identified as practicing Catholic now plan to vote for Fillon in the preliminary ballot in April. If, as expected, Fillon faces Marine Le Pen in the final run-off, an overwhelming 71% of practicing Catholics will support him.
Fillon also holds a distinct edge among Catholic voters who do not regularly practice their faith. The survey found that 30% of the voters in that category would favor him in the first round of voting, and 63% in a final contest against Le Pen.
After decades of uniformly secular candidates, Fillon is the first candidate in the history of the Fifth French Republic to directly appeal to Catholic voters and run on a platform intended to attract Catholics.
Marine Le Pen, in contrast, has verbally attacked the Catholic Church over immigration - which can hardly help her with that part of the electorate.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she bombs, against expectations, at the last hurdle - such that we get a surprise Macron vs. Fillon final run-off.
Macron vs Fillon is predicted to be much closer than Le Pen vs Fillon or Le Pen vs Macron.