French elections: Marine Le Pen gains ground on ‘feverish’ Macron as final stages loom

Marine Le Pen 'already succeeded' against Macron says host

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Voters in France will go to the polls on Sunday to elect a president for the next five years with the election taking place over two rounds. On the last day of campaigning before voters go to the ballot boxes, a poll had Marine Le Pen just two points behind Emmanuel Macron.

Ms Le Pen was runner-up to Emmanuel Macron in 2017, and this time, she is once again his closest rival.

There are 12 candidates taking part in Sunday’s election, eight men and four women. Of the six main contenders, three are from the right of French politics and two are from the left.

A month ago, Marine Le Pen was trailing President Macron by 10 points and fighting for a place in the second round against him.

Now she’s seen as the clear favourite to challenge him for the presidency ahead of Sunday’s first round.

If she does make it through to the 24 April run-off, opinion polls suggest for the first time that a Le Pen victory is within the margin of error.

“Nothing is impossible,” President Macron has warned, as polls suggest his far-right rival is closer than ever before to winning the presidency.

On Friday, Ms Le Pen took to the streets in Narbonne as she completed the final leg of campaigning.

When asked by The Telegraph what she thought of her main rival Emmanuel Macron likening the chance of her victory to Brexit, the 53-year old nationalist reiterated a mantra from her final rally the previous night: “When the people vote, the people win.”

Hinting at her rival’s condition ahead of the Sunday ballot, she told the publication: “Emmanuel Macron is getting a little feverish in the final stages.”

According to the latest Harris-Toluna survey, Mr Macron is predicted to come first in round one on 27 per cent, with Ms Le Pen snapping at his heels on 24 per cent.

Also on the rise on 17.5 percent is Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon who hopes to unite disillusioned Left-wingers and Greens whose candidates are falling by the wayside.

On Friday, Macron accused his main rival of “lying” to voters about social policy after her remarks and ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

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Pointing to her pledge to fine women who wear the Islamic veil in public, he told Le Parisien: “Her fundamentals have not changed: it’s a racist programme that aims to divide society and is very brutal.”

Ms Le Pen said she found Mr Macron “very aggressive since entering the campaign”.

She said: “An electoral contest is a confrontation of ideas and projects, not a fight.

“I want a tranquil France, a serene France, a France at peace with itself.

“I challenge him to find one single proposal in my programme that discriminates against French due to their origin, religion, or skin colour because that’s racism.”

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