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Paris Shooting: Why it could actually help Emmanuel Macron

21 April 2017

The French presidential election campaign of unprecedented twists and turns is saving its biggest surprise for last.

Fillon's ratings have gradually recovered after his campaign hit the rocks following nepotism allegations, and on Thursday he redoubled attempts to dissuade his core voters from straying to Macron's camp.

Obama's spokesperson said this was not a formal endorsement, but the former US president doesn't appear to have called any other French presidential candidate.

The top two will advance to a run-off vote on May 7.

(AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani). A hologram of French Left party leader and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election Jean-Luc Melenchon speaks to supporters who gathered in Grenoble, southeastern France, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

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When such tight polling conditions so close to the election are combined with the fact that polls have been notoriously inaccurate in recent times (e.g., last year's UK Brexit referendum and USA presidential election), a clear case can be made that it remains anyone's election to win.

While analysts have long held that the presidential election would require a second round of voting, predicting which two candidates will emerge for the winner-take-all ballot is becoming increasingly hard.

Mr Macron met with the head of leading French Muslim group CFCM, Anouar Kbibech.

Speaking to French television channel BFM, Le Pen said that her country did not defend the Algerians who fought for France in the right way.

But his pledge to tax the rich and protect worker's right is proving popular here.

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Some Socialist heavyweights are joining him at the event, though others are urging voters to choose centrist independent Emmanuel Macron instead.

Marine Le Pen is not a "far-right" leader. A defeat by Hamon could crush the party of unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande, who chose not to seek a second term.

Still, caveats must apply following Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election and Britons' vote to leave the European Union, events which both caught markets off guard a year ago. The threat of Islamic extremism after two years of attacks that killed more than 230 people, and with police thwarting what the government said was another planned attack this week, meant the vote was being held under heightened security, with more than 50,000 police and soldiers mobilized for Sunday.

So far, police have not named the specific targets of the foiled attack, but have arrested two suspects: 29-year-old Mahiedine Merabet and 23-year-old Clément Baur. She said Wednesday that "I am a candidate in the election for the French republic" and said Europe is acting like France's "enemy".

"To agree to take part in this program, Madame Le Pen, you asked us to remove the European flag that should have been behind you", said interviewer Gilles Bouleau by way of explanation.

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