Monday, 19 February, 2018

France's would-be presidents rally in Paris days before vote

Melissa Porter | 18 April, 2017, 03:53

Macron said his relationships with both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger in Germany's own upcoming elections in the fall, Martin Schultz, are "quite honest".

While all pre-election talk has concerned fears that Moscow will try and influence the French presidential election, new data in France suggests American internet users are working hard to boost Marine Le Pen's chances of victory.

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Riviere said any lingering Trump effect on the French campaign could also favor other candidates, such as far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon, who rails against free trade.

French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker well connected in the business world, has fended off questions about his elitist image on BFM television.

With only six days left before Sunday's first-round vote, polls show the four leading French candidates are so close in popularity that there's no clear front-runner.

Macron and Le Pen are holding their last big rallies in the Paris region later Monday.

French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron has pledged to represent an "open, confident, winning France" in contrast with his far-right and far-left rivals.

Fidelity has cut its exposure to French debt even as its base case is that Macron will win, according to London-based portfolio manager David Simner. So he implored French citizens to go to the polls to vote against Le Pen in a way they would understand: speaking French, in a cozy bistro with an accordion player beside him, while drinking wine and smoking a cigarette - in black and white.

An ebullient Melenchon, leader of La France Insoumise (Unbowed France), drew tens of thousands of supporters at an open-air rally in Toulouse where he bashed his rivals, US President Donald Trump and the European Union.

Fillon denies wrongdoing and is focusing instead on security issues that resonate with many voters after two years of deadly attacks across the country. Do voters judge a book by its cover?

Scandal-hit conservative Francois Fillon and radical leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon are steaming up behind the two frontrunners, and with around one in three of the French electorate still undecided, candidates are scrapping for every vote.

FILE - In this July 12, 2016 file photo, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron attends a rally for his movement, En Marche!

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party, Marine Le Pen (R) gestures as she arrives on stage for a campaign rally in Perpignan on April 15, 2017. (In Motion!), in Paris.

A separate daily Opinionway poll showed on Monday that Macron was tied with Le Pen in the first round of voting at 22 percent, with Fillon at their heals on 21 percent followed by Melenchon on 18 percent.