Poll: Three quarters of French voters want Fillon out of presidential race

Poll: Three quarters of French voters want Fillon out of presidential raceFrench presidential candidate François Fillon is more distrusted by voters than ever, a new poll has shown after the right-wing candidate was put under formal investigation over claims for three fake parliamentary aide jobs for family members.

The poll, released on Friday by Odoxa, revealed nine out of 10 French see the former favourite as “not honest”, while 75 per cent think he should withdraw from the race altogether.

The poll conducted for France Info radio was carried out online on Wednesday and Thursday among 1,006 people.

After six weeks of speculation triggered by an investigation by satirical magazine Le Canard Enchaîné, Fillon was placed under formal investigation by French authorities on Tuesday for the misuse of public funds.

He is alleged to have paid his Welsh-born wife Penelope at least €680,000 over 15 years for parliamentary assistant work there is no sign she ever completed.

Payments made to his children Marie and Charles while he was senator have also come under scrutiny: reports allege significant amounts were transferred directly back to Fillon’s bank account.

Fillon is unwilling to step down, dismissing the allegations as a "political assassination", although unlike rival Marine Le Pen, who also faces charges of misusing public money, he is cooperating with judges.

Fillon is currently trailing behind both far-right Marine Le Pen and centrist Macron in the latest poll, with just 19 per cent of voting intentions in the first round, according to an Idop-Fiducia poll.
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