“The primary topic of concern in the discussions French people… is the issue of halal meat.” – campaign visit in northern France March 5, 2012.
A variety of polls showed the subject of halal meat was of little concern to voters who cite grim economic and employment issues as their leading worries. However, the issue was the topic of a political polemic voiced first by far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who cited inaccurate information regarding the sale of halal meat to unsuspecting, non-Muslim French consumers. Le Pen took close to 18% and third place behind Sarkozy and Hollande in the initial round of voting on April 22 vote.
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