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Marine Le Pen backed by 26% of French youth

CSA poll shows Front National leader Marine Le Pen is the candidate with the fastest growing support among young people.

France le pen 12 04 10Enlarge
The far-right Front National (FN)'s candidate for the 2012 French presidential election, Marine Le Pen, is the preferred candidate for 26% of young voters. (JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

PARIS, France -- A new poll by French newspaper Le Monde shows that more than a quarter of first-time voters would back the far-right Front National candidate Marine Le Pen for president. 

AGI reports that the latest CSA poll found that 26 percent of voters aged between 18 and 24 favored Le Pen going into the Apr. 22 French presidential election.

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The poll says that Socialist candidate Francois Hollande is just behind with 25 percent, while the incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy has 17 percent and the hard line left-wing Jean-Luc Melenchon has 16 percent.

Le Pen took over the leadership of the Front National from her father, Jean Marie Le Pen, in 2011, a profile compiled by the BBC states.  He unexpectedly made it through to the second round of the 2002 presidential election, eventually being defeated by Jacques Chirac.

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An analysis piece by Macleans argues that the CSA poll result is "no coincidence", adding that "when no candidate offers realistic hope, resentment becomes more appealing."

Campaigning for the presidential election began officially on Monday, with advertisements supporting the 10 candidates being broadcast on television and radio, and campaign posters appearing across the country, RTT News reports.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/120410/25-french-youth-back-far-right-marine-le-pen-president