French election: Macron takes lead in latest poll

A snap poll after last night's Le Grand Débat, the televised debate between the five main French presidential candidates, named independent candidate Emmanuel Macron the victor.

Reuters reports that Macron accused Le Pen of failing voters "by twisting the truth" over the rise of radical Islam in France, while Le Pen claimed Macron's rhetoric "is completely empty".

"Marine Le Pen is coming to Chad, just like the other French political elites, to seek funds for her campaign from the Chadian authorities, who are known for their generosity towards the latter", PRR added.

'I don't need a ventriloquist, ' he retorted.

"Europe was, is and will remain a life insurance for us in times of crisis, and in the end, I'm convinced that the citizens of France will see it the way large majorities did in the Netherlands, as well as Germany", he said.

Former economy minister Macron, the most europhile of the candidates, noted that "all those who said Brexit will be wonderful...ran away and hid".

Melenchon interrupted Le Pen as she was calling for boosted French-language teaching.

Le Pen wants all visible religious symbols worn by people, including Muslim headscarves and Jewish kippahs, banned from public. But there it ended, with Le Pen's fitting retort: "You have said nothing".

Le Pen, who has been buoyed by Donald Trump's election in the USA and Britain's decision to leave the European Union, accused Fillon of scaremongering.

Political parties of the Chadian opposition, civil society movements and representatives of the Chadian diaspora are protesting against the French politician's visit to the capital N'Djamena, describing her as a xenophobe. "When I have something to say, I say it clearly", he also told Le Pen when she said that he was secretly in favour of the burkini, the Islamic-style swimsuit.

He resented being asked a question about political corruption and transparency, pointing out that only Fillon and Le Pen are facing formal investigations.

"This is called "project fear".

Francois Fillon - who has pledged to continue despite the "fake jobs" scandal that has overshadowed his campaign - appeared restrained and tired during the debate.

A total of 11 candidates, spanning the spectrum from the Trotskyist left to the far right, are running in the election which will culminate in a second-round duel on May 7 between the two top vote-getters.

But with so many voters undecided and polls showing the abstention rate could be higher than ever in France, the level of uncertainty remains high.

The candidates then discussed the issue of immigration, a key theme in this year's presidential election.

He said: 'I may have made mistakes. But I have experience'.

Macron scored 29 percent of votes on the question of who was the most convincing candidate, ahead of Melenchon on 20 percent. Benoit Hamon the Socialist was at times eclipsed.

Mr Macron also appeared to take a swipe at Mr Fillon.

Ms Le Pen's allusion to Belgium is a reference to the attacks carried out in Paris on 13th November 2015, which were largely organised from Belgium.

The prospect of anti-euro, far-right candidate delivering a surprise election win has rattled French bond markets this year.

The former prime minister poured scorn on Le Pen's proposal to pull out of the euro.

  • Leroy Wright