Chasing pair Fillon, Melenchon level as French election nears

Chasing pair Fillon, Melenchon level as French election nears

The two- round system means a straight face-off between the top two candidates in the run-off. Then - assuming none of those candidates get over 50% of the vote (they won't) - the top two candidates will go on to face each other in phase two; a run-off set for May 7.

The 26-year-old says, "We saw Trump, we saw I'm mistrustful".

First, Macron would need to show he can deliver on reforms of the labor market and pare back a French state that accounts for 57 percent of economic output, the highest level in Europe.

Opponents of Le Pen and her anti-immigration National Front party also skirmished with police outside a Paris rally this week.

Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon promised that if he won France's presidency he would give asylum to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who has taken refuge in Moscow since revealing details of secret U.S. government eavesdropping programs in 2013.

Ahead of his final event in the western city of Nantes, Macron met with the country's RAID intervention force accompanied by Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The polls have four candidates - centrist Emmanuel Macron, conservative Francois Fillon and communist Jean-Luc Melenchon - neck and neck within the margin of error.

While prosecutors haven't identified the potential targets, Le Pen said on BFM television that "we are all targets".

"Emmanuel Macron warmly thanked Barack Obama for his friendly call", En Marche! said in its own statement, Reuters reported. It's in France, where many speculate that the future of the European Union will be decided.

Ms Le Pen said she only wanted the French flag behind her in the shot.