French candidates boost security ahead of tense vote

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.

Le Pen's stance on immigration mainly competes with that of former prime minister Fillon, who despite being plagued by a financial scandal is slowly recovering in the polls, and has also targeted far-right voters.

Her rival candidates were happy to let "immigrants turn France into a enormous squat", she argued. The first round of the elections is on Sunday, April 23.

(Christian Hartmann/Pool photo via AP).

Macron warned voters that choosing far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon would be like Cuba without the sun.

On the campaign trail, the race was narrowing ahead of Sunday's vote, with the pack closing behind frontrunners Macron and Le Pen.

With voters in a rebellious mood and many hesitant to the end about their choices, the identities of the two candidates who will progress to a winner-takes-all May 7 runoff remain anyone's guess.

He said Obama expressed his deep attachment to France and the importance of the relationship between the two countries.

The tech-heavy speeches come ahead of the first round of the presidential election this Sunday.

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Alain Juppe, also beaten by Fillon in the primaries but a more popular figure than Sarkozy, will be at Fillon's side on the campaign trail on Wednesday, a member of Fillon's entourage said.

Independent candidate Emmanuel Macron is drawing fire from his closest rivals as opinion polls signal his narrow lead may be firming three days before the first round of France's presidential election.

Two of them are expected to advance to a run-off vote on May 7. The hard left candidate's proposals have seen him propose a 100% income tax on incomes twenty times and above the median income.

Hamon won the Socialist primary but the party is deeply divided, and Socialist President Francois Hollande is so unpopular that he's not seeking a second term.

After that, she said, France would introduce "much more drastic, more reasonable, more humane, more manageable rules" on immigration.

Macron on Wednesday told a rally that he was the only candidate capable "of ensuring the security" of his countrymen and pledged to "track down all those who have attacked our country or are planning to do so and prevent them from doing harm".

He attacked Le Pen for her remark that if she had been in the presidential Elysee Palace, there would have been no terrorist attacks in recent years.

Le Pen, who wants to withdraw France from the European Union and do away with the euro currency, defended her decision to force national news network TF1 to take down the EU flag during an interview Tuesday night. "For me they are excellent examples for what I've numerously spoken about - One either inherits French nationality or deserves it", she said.

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