Hollande: May 7 vote will gauge EU support

The Ifop survey for the Journal du Dimanche highlights two key battlegrounds as centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right opponent Marine Le Pen enter a final week of campaigning - France's economy and borders.

Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen softened her stance on Saturday on a timetable for ditching the euro, a week before she faces off in the decisive second round of voting with pro-EU rival and favourite Emmanuel Macron.

Meanwhile, the traditional May 1 union marches across France will be politically charged this year.

The Harris Interactive poll places Mr Macron on 61 per cent and Ms Le Pen on 33 per cent.

At said press conference both leaders formalised a national pact whereby if Le Pen wins the May 7 elections, Dupont-Aignan will be appointed Le Pen's Prime Minister. "For the Front National, that's the right".

DuPont-Aignan is with the right wing party "Stand Up France", and said Saturday, he does not consider Le Pen an extreme right candidate. "A matter of crucial importance for civilisation will be decided", she told the same Sunday night news bulletin, in a separate interview broadcast by the France 2 channel. The result showed this prediction to be correct with Macron bagging 24.1 per cent, Marine Le Pen 21.30 per cent, Francois Fillon 20.01 per cent and Jean Melenchon 19.58 per cent of the vote.

Le Pen has made the plight of French farmers a theme of her campaign, citing farm closures, rural poverty and farmers' suicides.

Analysts say it is fanciful to try to reverse engineer the euro zone or undertake a "Frexit" without expecting a severe upheaval, and that the resilience of markets after Britain's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's election as president of the United States were no comfort.

Referring to Mr Macron's period as a minister in President Hollande's government, she accused him of being a "candidate of continuity. littered with the corpses of jobs transferred off-shore, the ruins of bust businesses, and the gaping holes of deficit and debt".

Another disappointed Fillon voter said he planned to vote Le Pen for the first time because of "massive immigration".

Polls show Macron winning next Sunday with about 59-60 percent, but the momentum has been with Le Pen, who has clawed back about five percentage points over the past week.

Melenchon, for his part, offered the prospect of a second-round choice between two candidates who would tear up global trade treaties and whose presidencies could be fatal to a European Union already weakened by Britain's departure. "If everyone is agreed we could take a year or a year and a half to organise a coordinated return to national currencies", she said.

In the last presidential election in 2012, Le Pen finished third with just under 18 percent. Mr Macron called, in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, for a new "arch" reaching across left and right to rebuild French politics.

The 88-year old former paratrooper was expelled from the party's management but remains the party's honorary president and has lent money to his daughter's campaign.

Le Pen's announcement came with the National Front again fighting a furore over a senior official's reported remarks about Nazi gas chambers.

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