French candidates boost security ahead of tense vote

Macron is now the favourite to become French President and has been edging ahead on the polls to win in the first round of voting. French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron an. The top two candidates from the knock-out round will battle it out in a second ballot on May 7.

The Front National leader's commitment to ending France's membership of the borderless Schengen area, described as "effectively an worldwide passport-free zone for terrorists" by former Interpol chief Robert Noble, sets her on a collision course with the European Commission.

This isn't the first time Mélenchon has used holographic technology.

French police and members of special Police units RAID conduct an investigation after two Frenchmen were arrested in Marseille, France, April 18, 2017 for planning to carry out an "imminent and violent attack" ahead of the first round of the presidential election on Sunday, France's interior minister said. Should a Le Pen victory transpire, therefore, the possibility of an exit from the European Union would imply that French banks would lose much access to capital, as well as experience a surge in funding costs. Now Fillon polls in third, or arguably fourth place, because of a nepotism scandal involving his wife. A win for Macron with Fillon in second place would restore faith in centrist politics, which has been eroded ever since last year's Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and Trump's triumph in the US Presidential election.

Predictions so far are that Macron and Le Pen would face off in the second round, with Macron likely winning the presidency outright in such a scenario. He may, nevertheless, have a smoother run to a parliamentary majority than Macron or Le Pen, given that he has a party structure in his The Republicans grouping.

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The big surprise here would be Le Pen's failure to make it to the run-off, confounding years of opinion polls. One of the 144 promises in her election manifesto is to remove the blue-and-gold flag from government buildings, as well as to ensure that a French flag is always present - a measure that has already been followed by FN-controlled local authorities.

The stakes for investors are high, with two anti-EU, anti-euro candidates among the four.

Melenchon's surge in polls in the back of strong performances in TV debates late March and early April is the latest surprise in the topsy-turvy campaign.

"We were warned of the risks, as were the other presidential candidates, who were given pictures of these individuals as of Thursday night so that our respective security services could be more prudent", Le Pen told France Bleu Gard Lozere.

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