Majority of French voters mistrust Le Pen's party

Majority of French voters mistrust Le Pen's party

According to the poll put in the field by Harris Interactive, Macron would beat Le Pen in the April first-round of the elections and then go on to trounce the National Front (FN) leader by a margin of 30% of the vote in the May second round, Reuters reported.

Another critical number for Le Pen is the fact that only 42% of people who were asked believe she will be able to gather votes beyond her support base, a 7 percentage point drop from past year.

But polls predict he could win the presidency, in France's system that puts the top two vote-getters from the first round of voting into a second round that's slated for May 7.

"If the French tragedy comes to pass and leads to her election, I would withdraw from all my diplomatic functions", France's ambassador in Tokyo Thierry Dana, 60, wrote in a column in Le Monde newspaper on Wednesday. Former Socialist Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë also publicly endorsed Macron this week.

Buoyed by the election of President Donald Trump in the United States and by Britons' vote to leave the European Union, Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front hopes for similar populist momentum in the French election.

A former investment banker, Macron said in a speech on the occasion of International Women's Day on Wednesday that he would designate a woman as the country's premier if he won the keys to the Elysee Palace.

"To be honest, it's too easy to say it this evening. But I've spoken to others, starting with men, and that's what I wish really", he said, when asked if he would name a female PM at a public rally in Paris.

"It is too early to consider we will definitively have a Macron-Le Pen second round", said Francois Miquet-Marty of Viavoice pollsters.

An already unpredictable French election has become even harder to call given the legal woes afflicting the conservative challenger Francois Fillon, who is embroiled in a "fake jobs" scandal.

Articles published by Le Canard Enchainé concerning Fillon and his family have alleged Penelope was paid €875,000 (£746,000) as a legislative aid.

Significantly, fellow Socialist Benoit Hamon has not yet received Hollande's support, nor has Emmanuel Macron, who left Hollande's government to set up his own political movement.

On Monday, outgoing President Francois Hollande said that he would "do everything" in his power to prevent Le Pen from becoming president.