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Divided France braced for vote

Friday, May 05, 2017 - 01:51

Centrist Emmanuel Macron extends his poll lead over far-right rival Marine Le Pen on the final day of a presidential election campaign that has turned French politics upside down. Ciara Lee reports

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"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" and..."Resist" Greenpeace's message to the French people urging them to vote against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The final face-off between Le Penn and centrist Emmanuel Macron takes place on Sunday - with Macron extending his lead in the polls and expected to win 62 percent of the vote. The election is seen as the most important in France for decades. A poll on Friday showed French voters to be among the most polarised in the EU, with one in five describing themselves as "extreme" and only about a third as "centrist". (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN FLORIST FOR 37 YEARS, CAROLE, SAYING: "There is one candidate who is a bit mad and a bit scary even, and the other, we are not sure that he is for the small people, he's more for the bankers and those sorts of things, so I admit that I am very scared." Le Pen was booed by protesters on her last day of campaigning. She's used her final speeches to slam independent Macron, who has never held elected office and wants closer European cooperation. Markets remain buoyed by the latest polls, with investors pinning their hopes on stability in the bloc. But could they be celebrating too soon? (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Markets not really positioning for any risky event here so it doesn't look like Le Pen is going to win. But should she win, I think the reaction in markets could be a bit more violent because the protection hasn't been taken out the caution hasn't been used beforehand." How Macron would rule France is the next big question. The 39 year old previously served as as Francois Hollande's economy minister. Le Pen says he's a clone of the unpopular outgoing President. An association he might be keen to shake if in office.

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Divided France braced for vote

Friday, May 05, 2017 - 01:51