A Reuters straw poll of 100 people in the French city of Chartres has shown that unemployment and political integrity are voters' top concerns ahead of the country's presidential elections this year. Marie-Louise Gumuchian reports.
The things foremost in French voters' minds as they prepare to choose their next president. This is the bellwether town of Chartres, near Paris. It has correctly predicted the outcome of the last four elections. Reuters asked 100 people to give one word to describe their biggest concern ahead of the spring vote. Unemployment came top - for 25 people. "The creation of jobs, especially for young people, because it's not possible for us to carry on like this, there is lots of poverty amongst young people, so this is my priority" And political integrity was close behind for 19. "We are living at a time when the word integrity is becoming meaningless for our politicians, we've had some blatant examples in the past week" That a reference to right-wing candidate Francois Fillon, who found himself embroiled in a fake-job scandal involving his wife. Other worries included security, for 7 people, equality for 5 and immigration for 1. Despite having predicted very close to the final national results in the last 4 elections, this time, more than half of the 100 residents said they still don't know who they'll vote for. Since the straw poll, independent candidate Emanuel Macron, and current frontrunner, has had to deny rumours of a gay extra-marital affair. The issue of 'political integrity' looks increasingly likely to be on voters' minds ahead of the spring election.