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One third of Melenchon faithful to vote Macron in French presidentials round two

Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election, leaves his home in Paris, France, May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - About a third of members of far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon’s political movement will cast their second round French presidential election vote for centrist Emmanuel Macron, results showed, with the remainder planning to cast a blank vote or abstain.

Opinion polls show Macron is set to win about 60 percent of votes in Sunday’s run-off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, the pair having knocked out Melenchon and eight other candidates in the April 23 first round.

To do that, though, he needs to win some of the 20 percent of first round votes that Melenchon secured under the banner of his political movement ‘France Unbowed’.

Over 240,000 of France’ Unbowed’s 430,000 members took part in the survey, announced last week, and in which a vote for Le Pen was not among the options. In all, about 7 million people voted for Melenchon in the first round.

The results of the survey showed that 36.1 percent would aim for a blank vote, compared to 34.8 percent for Macron and 29.1 percent aiming to abstain.

Melenchon himself has said he will not vote for Le Pen and does not expect any of his supporters to.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Andrew Callus