Roughly 2,000 protestors made up of members from union groups, marched on Paris today to protest tomorrow’s election by sharing their disgust over the right leaning front runners, especially Marine Le Pen. Police used tear gas as pockets of protestors threw rocks and bottles, but according to a confidential intelligence document leaked to Le Parisien newspaper, French officials are worried that riots will break out in cities around the country after tomorrow’s election. Even more ominous is the top threat on the official intelligence document is the “jihadist threat,” as millions of French citizens cast their ballots across the country.
The confidential report came just two days after a French jihadist claiming allegiance to the Isis shot and killed a policemen on the Champs Elysées avenue in Paris. In light of the attack, election campaigning was ended early by the candidates and security issues went back to the top of the political agenda. This is expected to help the right, especially Marine Le Pen who has been the most outspoken candidate when it comes to radical Islam.
Around 50,000 police officers and 7,000 soldiers will be deployed to protect voters around France on Sunday for the first round, which has turned into a four-way race between far-right Ms Le Pen, far-left Mr Mélenchon, the scandal-scarred conservative François Fillon, and the maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron.
An opinion poll conducted on Thursday and Friday showed Le Pen and Macron tied at 23 percent, ahead of Mélenchon with 19.5 percent and Fillon with 19 percent. The two winners will face each other in a final run off unless one candidate wins 50% or more tomorrow – which is unlikely.
The French intelligence report leaked to Le Parisien said that spontaneous demonstrations – which might turn violent – could be held in major cities after the results are announced Sunday evening. The document also warned of farmers, hospital staff and students taking to the streets to protest against the results. One in four voters is still undecided, according to polls that also said the French are more worried about jobs and the economy than terrorism, but analysts warned Thursday’s shooting in Paris could change that.