Monday, 25 September, 2017

French candidates boost security ahead of tense vote

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron reacts during his visit at the KRYS group's headquarters in Bazainville near Paris Tuesday Obama: Phone call with French candidate wasn't an endorsement
Melinda Barton | 21 April, 2017, 03:43

But the polls show a four-way race has developed between her, Emmanuel Macron; François Fillon, the scandal-scarred conservative candidate; and Jean-Luc Melenchon, far-left firebrand.

PARIS French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron spoke with former US president Barack Obama on the phone on Thursday, in an apparent sign of support just three days before the first round of an uncertain presidential election. Marine Le Pen could come top or come fourth and crash out - right now it's a battle to survive for the far-right candidate.

The two-round presidenti.

As of Tuesday, Mr Macron was running at 23 per cent and Ms Le Pen at 22.3 per cent, according to the Bloomberg composite of French polling.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote on Sunday, there will be a run-off election between the two top vote-getters on May 7.

Macron is the only candidate so far to have said he has talked with Obama, a popular figure in France. A defeat by Hamon could crush the party of unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande, who chose not to seek a second term. Some Muslims feel unfairly targeted by French laws banning headscarves in schools and full-face veils in public.

Ms Le Pen has spent years trying to broaden support for the party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen but she appears to have suspended that approach in the final days of rallying before Sunday's first round of voting.

Le Pen also defended her decision to force national French news network TF1 to take down the European flag during an interview Tuesday night. "A peaceful and democratic uprising to give France back to its people", she said, "a day of glory will arrive".