Macron's lead narrows in French presidential election, polls show

However, Macron is still poised to win, expecting to gain 25 percent of votes of the 23 April first round vote while far right leader Marine Le Pen was seen getting 24 percent, according to a Harris Interactive poll for France Televisions published on Thursday.

The real popularity of FREXIT among the voters will be known indirectly very soon: France is preparing for the presidential election, and among the candidates is a staunch supporter of secession from the Union and the Eurozone - National Front's leader Marine Le Pen.

Candidates in the French presidential elections aired competing European Union visions in a TV debate on Tuesday (4 April), with far-right leader Marine Le Pen coming under fire.

If tonight's debate sees Fillon perform well then the FX market could start to price out the chance of a Le Pen victory in the first round, which we believe is one of the reasons why the euro has been under pressure and the French-German yield spread has widened again in the last week or so.

Visibly tired, Mr Fillon - who is trailing in third place in the race - did manage to hit back when asked how he would define an exemplary president.

"What you are proposing is nationalism", he also told Le Pen.
He said he came from "a region full of cemeteries" - the Somme where one of the First World War's main battle was fought - and that "we have to know where we come from".

With just 19 days until the first round of voting in a rollercoaster contest, the debate could play a crucial role in swinging momentum, with support for 39-year-old Macron still seen as fragile.

Macron is projected to beat Le Pen by about 20 percentage points in the runoff on May 7.

All 11 candidates are due to face each other in a televised debate on Tuesday evening.

When questioned about legal problems surrounding her National Front party including campaign financing and the use of expenses at the European parliament, she said she considered herself to be "politically persecuted".

At 5th most convincing was Socialist party candidate Benoit Hamon, with 9 percent.

The French economy has not recovered since the economic crisis of 2008, and Hollande's policy of imposing high tax rates has caused a capital flight to Britain, Belgium, and other low-tax countries rather than bringing additional revenue to France. It featured all 11 candidates in the race. The politician has pledged to restore the national franc currency if elected.

Watch: French citizens watch the presidential debate'Race to the bottom'?

Rachline said the investigation bore the hallmark of "a political attack".

"The non-candidate president was perhaps not wrong", Noblecourt said.

The comment appeared to be a swipe at Le Pen's efforts to detoxify the party her father Jean-Marie Le Pen founded and make it more palatable to mainstream voters.

  • Leroy Wright