Marine Le Pen strives to rebrand Front National as Jewish defence party

Elias Hubbard
April 10, 2017

The only candidate to passionately support the European Union was independent Emmanuel Macron, Ms. Le Pen's main rival for the presidency, who accused her of wanting to cause "economic war".

Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche!, or Onwards!, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, attends a campaign rally in Marseille, France, April 1, 2017.

In addition to leading candidates Macron, Fillon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, the list included three candidates who passed the threshold of 500 elected officials just in time: Jacques Cheminade and Philippe Poutou of small far-left parties and centrist lawmaker Jean Lasalle.

Macron would win 25 percent of the April 23 first round vote while far right leader Marine Le Pen was seen getting 24 percent, according to a Harris Interactive poll for France Televisions published on Thursday.

However, Le Pen has gained a second-round share in recent days, with a Macron/Le Pen split of 60/40 if the two current first-round leaders make it through to the second run-off.

"What you are proposing, Madame Le Pen, is a reduction in French people's spending power because, by withdrawing from the euro, for savers, workers, it's a reduction in spending power", he said.

Mélenchon set social media alight on Tuesday night for his memorable lines, telling Le Pen to "give us a break about religion", asking if her proposition to put religious symbols in town halls was her "vision of secularism".

Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon scoffed at her defence, saying it was "amusing to see you playing the victim while spending your time attacking immigrants".

Mr Fillon and his Welsh-born wife Penelope Fillon face prison for helping themselves to hundreds of thousands of pounds by setting up fake jobs, including one in the French parliament. "You are lucky, the system protects you".

Watch: French citizens watch the presidential debate'Race to the bottom'?

"The non-candidate president was perhaps not wrong", Noblecourt said.

The paper said things soon turned to confusion as the candidates debated "without much coherence", with different candidates seeming to ally with others and then oppose them later.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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