PARIS, April 10 U.S. investment bank Citigroup
said on Monday it had changed its baseline, or most probable,
scenario for the French presidential election to a win for
centrist Emmanuel Macron, compared to its earlier forecast of a
victory for conservative Francois Fillon.
"We change our baseline to a Macron win (35 percent
probability) – Fillon is our alternative scenario (30 percent),"
Citigroup wrote in a research note.
It added it had increased the probability of a victory for
far-right, National Front leader Marine Le Pen to 25 percent,
but said it still saw a Le Pen win as "quite unlikely", while a
recent surge in polls for far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon
meant Citigroup put a "wild card scenario" result at 10 percent.
Opinion polls have consistently rated Macron as most likely
to win the decisive, second-round run-off vote in May, although
Citigroup cautioned that Macron's "En Marche!" (Onwards!) party
remained unlikely to get an outright majority in the French
parliament in June legislative elections.
"Even if Macron wins, we think it is unlikely that En
Marche! will have an outright majority in the 577-seat lower
house. Our baseline is a governing coalition, with a
centre-right prime minister and with the support of some of the
reformist part of the Socialist Party," wrote the U.S bank.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Adrian Croft)