Fillon popularity tumbles, Macron, Hamon climb-French Elabe poll

PARIS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The popularity ranking of French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon has tumbled from third to 18th position over the past month, according to a poll by Elabe for Les Echos newspaper on Thursday.

The poll gave Fillon a rating of 22 percent, down 13 percentage points from a month ago. In between, Fillon’s campaign has been knocked off course by a scandal over taxpayers’ money paid to his wife for work she may not have done.

Fillon has since been replaced as favourite to become president by centrist Emmanuel Macron, according to polls of voting intentitons.

Macron remained the most popular politician in the Elabe popularity poll, up two percentage points on a month ago at 43 percent.

Socialist Benoit Hamon, who won his party’s presidential ticket last month, saw his popularity rating climb 10 points to 37 percent.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen, seen by polls of voting intentions as likely to lose to Macron in a deciding presidential vote on May 7, saw her popularity fall by 1 point to 28 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Callus; editing by Michel Rose)