What happened today in France's presidential election

French centrist Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he expected his untested new party to be able to form a parliamentary majority after legislative elections in June if he wins the presidency in May.

We at FxWirePro have also not ruled out a Le Pen victory as a poll by Pew Research Centre in 2016 shows that nearly 62 percent of the survey respondents had unfavorable views towards the European Union.

Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, who risks elimination in the first round of the election, met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in a bid to assert his vision to broaden EU decision-making in the eurozone to national parliaments and the European Parliament.

Facing France's employers along with three other candidates, far-right contender Marine Le Pen compared the European Union to a "crumbling" empire.

Mr Valls, as a contender in the Socialist primary, had pledged to support the victor of the vote.

Mr Valls said his choice did not mean he would campaign for Mr Macron (39) - a fellow minister in French president François Hollande's government from 2014, but who quit past year to prepare a presidential bid under his own political banner En Marche! "I have nothing to negotiate and am not asking for anything".

"I have to say I have taken part in a few elections but I have never seen an executive, just days out from the election, clinging on to its privileges" and influence, former prime minister Mr Fillon told a rally in the western city of Nantes.

"I shall be the guarantor of new faces, new ways of doing things", he said on Europe 1 Radio.

The wife of conservative candidate Francois Fillon was charged with complicity in the abuse of public funds in a scandal that has engulfed her husband's campaign.

Penelope Fillon, who originally comes from Abergavenny in Wales, was charged with "misuse of public funds", "receiving money from a misuse of company assets" and "receiving money from a fraud", judicial sources said.

Last week, Fillon accused outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande of plotting his downfall by orchestrating leaks over his financial probity, which Hollande denied.

The blow for Mr Hamon clearly compounded existing left-right splits within the party.

  • Leroy Wright