[ Director: Mário Frota [ Coordenador Editorial: José Carlos Fernandes Pereira [ Fundado em 30-11-1999 [ Edição III [ Ano X

terça-feira, 18 de abril de 2017

Le Pen, Macron and Mélenchon stage rival rallies in Paris

Jean-Luc Melenchon, candidate for the far-left coalition La France Insoumise ('Indomitable France'), delivers a speech during a campaign rally in La Prairie des Filtres in Toulouse, France, 16 April 2017. France holds the first round of the 2017 presidential elections on 23 April 2017.
[Frederic Scheiber/EPA]
Macron staged his biggest rally of the campaign so far, attracting 20,000 people to the Bercy national indoor arena while a topless woman protester briefly interrupted Le Pen’s speech to 6,000 supporters at a concert hall.

After weeks of twists and turns, the unpredictable race has narrowed dramatically, with surveys suggesting four candidates are in contention to win one of the top two spots in the vote next Sunday (23 April) and progress to the run-off a fortnight later.

Scandal-hit conservative Francois Fillon and radical leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon are steaming up behind the two frontrunners, and with around one in four of the electorate still undecided, candidates are scrapping for every vote.

Macron and Le Pen, who have both scored as high as 25% in voter surveys, stood at 23% and 22.5% respectively in the latest Ifop poll, while Mélenchon has surged to 19.5%, equal with Fillon.

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