France election: Female challengers launch bids to become country’s first women president | World News

Two politicians have thrown their hats into the ring in a bid to become France’s first woman president after next year’s election.

Paris’s socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo and Marine Le Pen of the far right National Rally have both formally launched their campaigns for the top job in widely expected declarations.

Ms Hidalgo, 62, who became the first woman to run the French capital in 2014, is the favourite to win the Socialist Party nomination.

Marine Le Pen arrives at a National Rally event in Frejus, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. French far right leader Marine Le Pen hands over the reins of her party to focus on her campaign for the April presidential election, and the Socialist mayor of Paris declares she is joining the 2022 race. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
Marine Le Pen launched her campaign with a pledge to defend French ‘liberty’

She launched her candidacy in the northwestern Normandy city of Rouen.

However, polls indicate she has little chance of mounting a serious challenge unless she can unite the left, which remains deeply divided.

Ms Hidalgo is currently polling at about 8% voter support in April’s first round, while the centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron and Ms Le Pen are notching up between 20% and 24%.

Sky News