The seven candidates fighting to represent the socialist party in the upcoming presidential election in France are facing each other in the first of four TV debates on Thursday.
However, their efforts may be in vain as support for the center-right candidate, Francois Fillon, and the independent Emmanuel Macron strengthens.
"The current simulated polls for the first round show any socialist candidate … getting a bad 10 percent," Charles Lichfield, Europe associate at the Eurasia group, told CNBC on Thursday.
Among the seven candidates is the former prime minister, Manuel Valls, who left the seat vacant to run for the presidency. However, discontent in France with the socialist leadership both in parliament and in the presidency, tied up with stronger public support for right-wing views, is making the socialist case difficult to get across.
The socialist primaries take place on January 22 and 29.