Macron campaign hit by 'significant' data leak hours before French poll

The betting firm said Saturday despite the polls favoring her centrist rival, Emmanuel Macron, gamblers are putting money on the idea that France may be in line for a political shock similar to Britain's decision to leave the European Union or Donald Trump's victory in the USA presidential election. They were later picked up and promoted by core social media supporters of Le Pen in France, Nimmo said. Macron is at 1-10 odds.

Earlier in the day, anti-Le Pen crowds disrupted her visit to a renowned cathedral in Reims.

French election officials have ordered local media outlets not to publish the contents of hundreds of e-mails and other documents that have been taken from the campaign team of presidential candidate front-runner Emmanuel Macron in a massive computer hack.

In its statement on Friday, En Marche! said that the documents released online showed only the normal functionings of a presidential campaign, but that authentic documents had been mixed on social media with fake ones to sow "doubt and misinformation". It moves to the mainland on Sunday.

The first French territory to vote was Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, an archipelago located near Newfoundland.

The commission said it would hold a meeting early on Saturday to discuss the attack that Mr Macron's team said was a bid to sabotage Sunday's vote.

Voters chose Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen in the first-round vote on April 23, dumping the traditional left-right parties that have governed modern France.

Centrist Mr Macron's En Marche! movement said late on Friday night that it had been the victim of a "massive and co-ordinated" hacking attack that led to the leak of campaign emails and financial documents.

The perpetrators remain unknown. It's unclear whether the document dump would dent Macron's large poll lead over far-right rival Marine Le Pen going into the vote. Even if she loses, she is likely to be a powerful opposition figure in French politics in the upcoming parliamentary election campaign.

"Intervening in the last hour of the official campaign, this operation is obviously a democratic destabilization, as has already been seen in the United States during the last presidential campaign", Macron's campaign said.

With 24 per cent of the first-round votes Macron finished comfortably ahead of Le Pen who scored 21.3 per cent of the first-round votes, and he is expected to now gain the support of the other parties and candidates who mostly detest Le Pen and her party. They fear her party's racist past, while worrying that his platform would demolish worker job protections or be too much like his mentor, the deeply unpopular outgoing President Francois Hollande.

Comments about the email dump began to appear on Friday evening just hours before the official ban on campaigning began. Links to more than 70,000 were posted on a text-sharing site on Friday afternoon.

In a statement, Macron's political movement En Marche!

The No. 2 in Le Pen's anti-immigration National Front party, Florian Philippot, asked in a tweet, "will the #Macronleaks teach us something that investigative journalism deliberately buried?"

Macron's party chief, Richard Ferrand, accused Russian Federation of trying to influence the election by spreading "fake news" about the candidate through its state-controlled media while reporting more favorably on Le Pen.

She has brought her National Front party closer than ever to the presidency, riding a wave of populism and growing frustration amid working-class voters with globalisation and immigration.

Her father surprised the world by making the run-off in the presidential election of 2002, but he was soundly beaten in the end and most pundits are predicting the same fate for Marine Le Pen, especially as she has watered down only a few of the Front's policies and was herself exposed in a television debate as being not a very nice person.

  • Larry Hoffman