Fillon family troubles may lead to President Le Pen

The Herald reports:

Francois Fillon’s French presidential campaign plunged deeper into trouble after further revelations about his use of public funds to employ members of his family.

The Republican candidate’s daughter and son allegedly earned €84,000 from 2005 to 2007 while working for him when he was a Senator, Le Canard Enchaine said.

His wife, Penelope Fillon, earned more than €900,000 during over a decade as a parliamentary assistant and a contributor to a magazine, according to Le Canard.

The newspaper’s initial report on Penelope’s job last week triggered a prosecutor to open a preliminary probe into the family’s affairs. The candidate says he’s innocent.

The scandal has gripped France over the last week and offers the prospect of another twist in a race that has the nationalist Marine Le Pen leading the polls and has already seen household names like President Francois Hollande and his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, fall by the wayside.

That said, polls show that Le Pen is still a long shot for victory in the second round of voting, with Emmanuel Macron also poised to benefit – at least in the short term – from Fillon’s woes.

The polls were showing Fillon and Le Pen would get through to the 2nd round and then Fillon would win. But this scandal is hurting him (as it should) and if they are the final two, Le Pen is now more likely to win.

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