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1 In 3 Leave Voters Think It's Best For Britain If Marine Le Pen Becomes President Of France

According to a YouGov poll, 21% of voters thought the Front National candidate would be the best winner from a UK perspective, versus 23% for Emmanuel Macron.

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More than one in three people who voted Leave in the Brexit referendum think it would be best for the UK if Marine Le Pen – the candidate from the far-right Front National party – won the French presidential election, a YouGov poll has revealed.

Le Pen faces off against the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential vote last year – but the polling evidence shows that those UK voters who have an opinion on the election (many said they didn't know) are closely divided between the centrist and far-right candidates.

Asked by YouGov which would be best for Britain if they won – given France's central role in Brexit negotiations – 21% of voters said Le Pen would be best, while 23% said Macron would be the better candidate from a UK perspective. Another 13% said the two candidates would be about the same, while the rest didn't know.

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However, these figures showed dramatic splits when broken down by political party or by referendum vote. Conservative voters favoured Le Pen over Macron by 29-18, while UKIP voters overwhelmingly supported Le Pen, by 49-3.

By contrast, Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP voters all preferred Macron over Le Pen – Labour voters most strongly, by a margin of 38% to 12%.

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Percentage of voters who said a Marine Le Pen victory would be better for Britain, broken down by party.

This same contrast showed in the Brexit divide. 45% of people who said they'd voted Remain thought Macron would be best for Britain, versus just 9% for Le Pen. However, 37% of Leave voters backed Le Pen, while only 6% thought Macron would be best for UK interests.

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The UK result is a stark contrast to that seen in some other EU countries, which show overwhelming support for the moderate candidate – who is the overwhelming favourite to win – over his far-right rival.

In Germany, a poll asking who people wanted to win the contest – a slightly different question to that posed to UK voters – found 77% support for Macron, and just 8% for Le Pen.

James Ball is a special correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. PGP: here

Contact James Ball at James.Ball@buzzfeed.com.

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