Presidential candidates rally in last days of surprising race
PARIS | As France’s unpredictable presidential campaign nears its finish with no clear front-runner, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen hope to rally big crowds in Paris with their rival visions for Europe’s future.
Meanwhile, far-left candidate JeanLuc Melenchon, enjoying a late poll surge, campaigned on a barge Monday floating through the canals of Paris. And conservative candidate Francois Fillon took his tough-on-security campaign to the southern French city of Nice, which was scarred by a deadly truck attack last year that killed 86 people.
The race is being watched internationally as an important gauge of populist sentiment, and the outcome is increasingly uncertain just six days before Sunday’s first round vote.
The top two vote-getters Sunday of the 11 candidates on the ballot advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. The latest polls suggest that Le Pen, Macron, Melenchon and Fillon all have a chance of reaching the runoff — and as many as a third of voters remain undecided.