In a sudden drop of popularity, Francois Fillon has seen his favourability ratings drop by 16% following reports that he paid his wife around 600,000 euros for fake jobs.
Although it is not illegal to employ family members in France, French newspaper Le Canard Enchaine reported that there is no evidence that Penelope Fillon did any work during her time employed.
The scandal also comes as Socialist candidate Manuel Valls, as well a former Prime Minister of France, is preparing to back independent candidate Emmanuel Macron should he lose to Benoit Hamon in the Sunday night primaries.
Macron, a centrist politician, is currently expected to finish third in the first round of voting. Should he pull away voters from Fillon’s campaign, and overtake far-right leader Marine Le Pen to reach the second round, he could pose a much tougher challenge for Fillon.
Fillon denies the allegations and all wrong-doing.