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Polls pointing to Macron landslide

By Xinhua - Reuters - Ap | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-06 07:35

PARIS - Centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron extended his lead in the polls over his far-right rival Marine Le Pen on Friday, the final day of a tumultuous election campaign that has turned the country's politics upside down.

The election is seen as the most important in France in decades, with two diametrically opposed views of Europe and the nation's place in the world community.

The National Front's Le Pen would close borders and quit the euro currency, while independent Macron, who has never held elected office, wants closer European cooperation and an open economy.

The candidates of France's two mainstream parties were both eliminated in the first round on April 23.

According to an Elabe poll for BFM TV and L'Express, Macron will get 62 percent of the votes in the second round compared to 38 percent for Le Pen, an increase of three points for the centrist candidate compared to his projected score in the last Elabe poll.

The showing is Macron's best in a voting survey by a major polling organization since nine other candidates were eliminated in the first round on April 23.

The survey was carried out after a rancorous final televised debate between the two contenders on Wednesday, which Macron was seen by French viewers as having won, according to two polls.

Macron's strong showing in the debate and another national poll this week that showed his En Marche! (Onward!) political movement is likely to emerge as the biggest party in the June legislative elections have lifted the mood among investors worried about the upheaval a Le Pen victory could cause.

Meanwhile, former US president Barack Obama on Thursday voiced his support for Macron.

In a video posted on Facebook by Macron, Obama delivered the message facing the camera, saying that he's always grateful for "the friendship of the French people", and "the work we did together when I was the president of the United States".

"I'm not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don't have to run for office again, but the French election is very important for the future of France and the values that we care so much about," Obama said in the video embedded with French subtitles. "The success of France matters to the entire world."

The video quickly sparked controversy on social media, with some opponents calling it interference in another country's presidential election.

Polls pointing to Macron landslide

A supporter snaps a selfie with presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron in Albi, France, on Thursday.Benoit Tessier / Reuters

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