French election: Macron and Le Pen wrap up tense campaign

The two candidates hoping to be France’s next president are making a final push for votes on the last day of campaigning before Sunday’s election.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron – who has a substantial lead in opinion polls – is visiting the southern city of Rodez.

His National Front (FN) rival, Marine Le Pen, had eggs thrown at her as she campaigned in Brittany on Thursday.

Meanwhile Mr Macron has filed a lawsuit over online rumours that he had a secret bank account in the Caribbean.

He has strongly denied the allegations, which were mentioned by Ms Le Pen in Wednesday evening’s rancorous final TV debate between the two contenders.

An opinion poll by the Odoxa Institute for France Info predicted Sunday’s election would have the lowest turnout of any second-round presidential vote in France since 1969. The institute reported that far-left voters were particularly unlikely to vote.

A separate poll, carried out by Elabe for BFMTV and L’Express, found support for Mr Macron had risen to 62% among those who had decided how to cast their vote, compared to 38% for his far-right rival.

Mr Macron told French media on Friday that he had already decided who his prime minister would be, if elected, but implied that the person themselves did not know.

The prime minister would reflect the spirit of renewal he had built, he said.

He also said that he would introduce an element of proportional representation for elections to France’s National Assembly within his first year in office.

Ms Le Pen has already announced that her prime minister would be the mainstream nationalist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who was defeated in the first round.

On Friday the campaign group Greenpeace unfurled a large banner with an anti-National Front message from the Eiffel Tower in central Paris.

In other developments on Thursday:

  • Former US President Barack Obama endorsed Mr Macron in a video message, praising his “liberal values” and saying he “appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears”
  • Ms Le Pen’s estranged father Jean-Marie, a co-founder of the National Front (FN) who was expelled from the party in 2015, said he thought she “perhaps did not rise to the occasion” in the TV debate

The issues dividing Le Pen and Macron

Five things the French election has told us

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Last updated April 25, 2017

*Polling results up to this date show how people said they would vote on 7 May, if Macron and Le Pen reached the second round

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