French Socialist candidate holding Paris rally

Francois Fillon right former French Prime Minister member of the Republicans political party and 2017 French presidential election candidate of the French centre-right is greeted by supporters as he arrives to attend a campaign rally in Lille France

The 11 candidates standing for the French presidency are taking part in the final set-piece televised encounter of the campaign. Francois Fillon, right, former French Prime Minister, member of the Republicans political party and 2017 French presidential election candidate of the French centre-right, is greeted by supporters as he arrives t. "We saw (President Donald) Trump, we saw Brexit.so I'm mistrustful", he said.

It is a challenge for French pollsters, which have a near-perfect record in forecasting the vote share for the top five finishers in the first rounds in 2007 and 2012 and the subsequent run-offs.

Also Wednesday, the Grand Mosque of Lyon issued an appeal urging Muslims to cast ballots instead of isolating themselves, "so that all the children of France, regardless of their skin color, their origins or their religion, are fully involved in the future of their country". While Macron gained 0.5 point Le Pen is down 1 point in one week, the poll showed. But the race to succeed the deeply unpopular socialist President Francois Hollande has tightened in recent weeks.

Macron, a pro-EU centrist, is leading most opinion polls for the election's first round and is expected to contest a second-round run-off with far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Tf1 guests normally appear beside an European Union flag tethered to a French tricolour but, unlike rival candidate Emmanuel Macron, Ms. Le Pen insisted that only the French flag should feature alongside her. "Well, France is not for sale, the French people are not for sale", she said.

Ms Le Pen's promises to pull France out of the euro, cut immigration, make it harder to get French nationality and to get tough on suspected Islamists, have kept her in joint top place in most of the latest polls.

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