Far-right presidential front runner Marine Le Pen said Wednesday that French people felt "dispossessed" in their own country as she stressed the threats of immigration and terrorism in the final days of campaigning.
Conservative candidate Francois Fillon was also warned about the danger last week, an aide said.
Those on the right have been particularly vocal, seeking to appeal to voters traumatized by IS-inspired attacks that have killed at least 235 people in France since January 2015, by far the largest casualty rate of any Western country. Le Pen was present at the rally by her supporters for a speech.
Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche!, or Onwards!, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, listens to general director of the optic group KRYS Jean-Pierre Champion (L) during his visit at the headquarters of the KRYS group in Bazainville, France, April 18, 2017.
"We have never seen a four-way contest like this in the first round of a presidential election", Frederic Dabi of the Ifop polling institute told AFP. The siren call of Le Pen's "France first" nationalist rhetoric, and Melenchon's late surge left Europe's second-largest country and third-biggest economy at a crossroads, with its future in the European Union up for grabs. The Bloomberg Composite of first-round polls showed Macron nearly two points ahead, on 24.2 percent.
The EU executive was referring to Le Pen's demand on Tuesday night that French TV station remove the blue, yellow-starred EU flag from the stage where she would be interviewed, leaving just the French blue-white-and-red flag.
Le Pen, who is relatively socially liberal on the issue of abortion, says that if elected she would replace same-sex marriage with civil partnerships, which existed in France from 1999 to 2013.
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