Marine Le Pen’s 2027 campaign has been plunged into chaos after a criminal inquiry was launched over suspected fraud in the finances of her last bid.

Le Pen, who stood against Emmanuel Macron in 2017 and 2022, is under investigation for alleged embezzlement, forgery and fraud in her most recent campaign.

Paris prosecutors want to know how Le Pen’s campaign spent its €11.5million (£9.7million) of funding in her third run for the presidency.

Le Pen received 41.5 per cent of the vote, 17-points behind Macron.

Marine Le Pen in crisis as she faces fraud inquiry over presidential campaign just days after shock election defeatMarine Le Pen in crisis as she faces fraud inquiry over presidential campaign just days after shock election defeatREUTERS

However, the second round result represented a drastic swing to National Rally after two-thirds of French voters backed the centrist candidate in 2017.

Le Pen also stood in 2012 but failed to make it through to the second round after receiving just 17.9 per cent of the vote in the first round.

The inquiry comes after National Rally surprisingly missed out on making significant inroads in last Sunday’s legislative election.

Despite receiving a plurality of votes in the first round, the populist party finished third behind the leftist New Popular Front and Macron’s Ensemble.

The probe was launched on July 2 to examine allegations of abuses including embezzlement, forgery and fraud.


Jordan Bardella (left) and Marine Le Pen (right)Jordan Bardella and Marine Le PenGETTY

However, the prosecutor’s office failed to provide further detail as Le Pen’s lawyers confirmed they would contest the investigation because the 2022 accounts had been officially audited and approved last year.

Le Pen is also due to stand trial in Paris with 24 other defendants on charges of fraudulently using millions of euros of European Parliament funds to finance the operations of her party in France.

Jordan Bardella, who succeeded Le Pen, denies all the charges and labels them as politically motivated.

Despite the legal woes, hypothetical 2027 polling makes for interesting reading for Le Pen.

Marine Le PenMarine Le PenREUTERS

The most recent Harris Interactive survey suggested Le Pen and Bardella lead the pack in the first round.

Le Pen would narrowly defeat Macron’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal by 53 to 47 per cent, a separate Ifop poll from April revealed.

Jean-Luc Melenchon would potentially face a 2017 defeat at the hands of Le Pen, with the National Rally receiving 64 per cent support.

Support for National Rally has soared since the populist party first made it through to the final ballot in 2002.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s far-right father, was obliterated as conservative Jacques Chirac raked in a staggering 82.2 per cent of the vote.