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In France, young voters went for LePen

07 May 2017

Former far-right National Front party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The "dysfunctional" European Union requires some in depth reform, or France could head for the door, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said a week before the second election round.

The Ifop poll found 42 percent of voters believe Macron and Le Pen would be unable to reunite the country after months of bitter campaigning, while 43 percent questioned whether they would be able to govern even after capturing the Elysee palace.

French candidate Emmanuel Macron says he "respects" those who oppose his policies but still plan to vote for him Sunday to block far-right rival Marine Le Pen from the presidency.

Ms Le Pen was also trying to win over those anxious about the anxious about the environment and paid a surprise visit to a factory whose waste is at the heart of a political debate on the Mediterranean coast.

"The French people have clearly understood the fake nature of this sudden judicial agitation on the long-standing pseudo-cases", Le Pen told Le Parisien newspaper in response to the question whether the case of an alleged misuse of funds will influence voters in France.

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Le Pen has capitalised on anti-EU feeling, and has promised a referendum on France's membership.

Ms Le Pen, speaking on Europe-1 radio, reached out to "all those who are patriots" and who want to restore French borders and currency and "rediscover the voice of labour, defend our identity, fight against Islamic fundamentalism".

"Let's put our quarrels and divergences to one side", she said in the message, calling Macron the choice of the "oligarchy".

At rallies in Paris, Marseille and elsewhere, some trade unionists and left-wing activists sought to turn the traditional May Day workers' holiday into a day of national solidarity against the National Front, mirroring protests in 2002 when Jean-Marie Le Pen made it through to the second round of the presidential election before losing heavily to conservative Jacques Chirac.

"Marine Le Pen has undertaken to boost the defence budget and to strip citizenship from and deport any French convicted on terrorism charges".

Responding to criticism from Le Pen that Macron is using memories of the Holocaust for political gain, Macron grew heated.

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Both Macron, who launched a new party a year ago, and Le Pen, whose National Front has only two seats in the National Assembly, have faced questions about their ability to build a parliamentary majority.

An Odoxa poll Friday showed 40 percent of Melenchon's supporters would back Macron, 41 percent would abstain and 19 percent would vote for Le Pen.

But Le Pen's efforts to clean up her National Front party's anti-Semitic image could be undermined by a parallel Paris event by her father, Jean-Marie, expelled from the party over his extreme views.

French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has raised the alarm about the risks of Frexit.

Referring to Mr Macron's period as a minister in President Hollande's government, she accused him of being a "candidate of continuity. littered with the corpses of jobs transferred off-shore, the ruins of bust businesses, and the gaping holes of deficit and debt".

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In France, young voters went for LePen