French voters sceptical Macron, Le Pen have answers on unemployment, security

That is a narrative Ms Le Pen will continue to push in the final days of the campaign, trying to convince voters Mr Macron is not just "same old" but is a puppet of the world of finance whose pro-business policies would not create jobs in France but send them overseas and leave French workers struggling. Macron called, in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, for a new "arch" reaching across left and right to rebuild French politics.

While she is sticking to plans for a referendum on France's membership in the EU, Le Pen offered to allow big companies that operate internationally to continue using the euro while ordinary citizens would use a new franc.

Talking about France's borders, Mr Fillon said: "Then, there is the frontier of the Rhine, the most open, the most unsafe, the most promising too - this Germanic world with which we have been so often in conflict and with which we will yet cooperate in so many ways".

Although they have historically opposed Le Pen's far-right National Front and have urged members to vote against her, several major labor unions also fought the job market overhauls that Macron defended as economy minister and that he wants to expand if elected.

French presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron has warned the European Union must reform or it could face "Frexit".

"It's inadmissible. It's unthinkable" that Le Pen could lead France, Pfeffer told The Associated Press as Macron arrived.

Legislative elections are in June, and whoever is president will depend on lawmakers to implement an agenda.

The two face a presidential runoff May 7 that will reverberate across Europe. "Go and convince (others), make her lose next Sunday", he said, adding that her priorities would be "to fight against press freedom, against women's rights, the right to abortion" and "against same-sex couples' rights".

"We know that we have a challenge to change a vote from one which is against Le Pen to one which is one for Macron". Cheers of "Marine President!" and anti-immigrant chants rose up in the crowd of thousands for Le Pen's rally.

Percentage of Fillon voters who would choose Ms Le Pen in round two, according to a recent survey.

Thousands of people cheered loudly and waved French flags at Monday's rally as Ms Le Pen pledged to give back "sovereignty and greatness" to the French people.

Those voters, many of whom supported the hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the first round, do not want their votes for Macron to be construed as support for his platform.

"Mr Macron wants to serve, not the people, but finance", Le Pen said, hammering home her message that she would be the president to protect French workers against low wages due to European competition.

People of all political persuasions rallied behind the conservative Chirac, who scored a landslide victory with 82 percent of the vote.

Le Pen, 48, seeking to close a 19-point gap in voter surveys as her Sunday showdown with 39-year-old Macron looms, will take her case as "the people's candidate" to the working-class suburb of Villepinte.

She won support in rural and former industrial areas by promising to retake control of France's borders from the European Union and slash immigration.

Some trade unionists and left-wing activists sought to make the day one of national solidarity against the National Front, mirroring protests in 2002 when Le Pen's father, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, was a candidate. "We're not trying to build an anti-FN front, that doesn't work anymore".

Le Pen was expelled from the party in 2015 for repeating an anti-Semitic phrase for which he was convicted.

  • Leroy Wright