Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron, candidate in France's 2017 French presidential election, delivers an address for French nationals in London, Britain, Feb. 21, 2017. Reuters

Leader of the far-right political party National Front, Marine Le Pen, was the frontrunner for the first round of April’s French presidential election, but she was losing ground to independent candidate Emmanuel Macron. If, as currently seems likely, the vote were to go to a second round between the two, Macron would be a comfortable victor, according to latest opinion polls.

Le Pen has been leading the polls since Republican challenger François Fillon saw his campaign hit hard by the so-called “Penelopegate” scandal last month. Fillon, a former prime-minister, is alleged to have paid his wife, Penelope, and two of his children for jobs that did not exist.

As a result, Fillon was trailing Macron by three points, meaning he was likely set to bow out in the first round of the election April 23. Macron, a former investment banker who served for two years as economy minister under outgoing President François Hollande, has been steadily gaining in the polls since founding the En Marche! party six months ago and launching his campaign.

In the past week, he has received several high-profile endorsements, including from François Bayrou, who ran for president in the last three elections and won nine percent of the vote in 2012.

Le Pen, like Fillon, has seen her campaign dented by a “fake job” scandal. Last week, one of her aides was charged over allegations that the National Front party defrauded the European Parliament. Mirroring the rhetoric of President Donald Trump in the United States, both Le Pen and Fillon have accused the judiciary system of becoming politicized.

Le Pen has also struck a similar anti-globalization tone to Trump and has also called for France to leave the European Union. In the past five years, she has successfully taken a party that was once on the fringes of French politics under her father into the mainstream. However, her biggest obstacle has long been garnering enough widespread support when it comes to a run-off between the two leading candidates.

Le Pen would currently lose a hypothetical second round to Macron, 62 percent to 38 percent, as indicated by an IFOP poll released Monday. In the same poll, just 17 percent of respondents said that they thought Le Pen would emerge as president from any second round scenario.

French Election 2017 Odds (provided by Bovada)

Emmanuel Macron: +125 (5/4)

Marine Le Pen: +140 (7/5)

François Fillon: +300 (3/1)

Benoit Hamon: +2500 (25/1)

Francous Baronin: +6600 (66/1)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon: +6600 (66/1)