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Macron gains boost from key centrist in French election

25 February 2017

He told the meeting in Central London that they are needed to be innovative in France and their experience in the United Kingdom can help them to teach others how to be entrepreneurs.

Sapin said observers were wrong to draw parallels with Britain's decision to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's election in the U.S., which had both caught markets off guard.

He spoke to an audience of French nationals who run their own businesses, who work in finance and also footballers Steve Mandanda and Yohan Cabaye, who play for the French national team and the English side Crystal Palace.

Drawing a distinction between the probe against her and the fraud investigation against Fillon, she said: "The French can tell the difference between genuine scandals and political dirty-tricks".

"I don't want to promote a French or a Western system". French culture, he said, must be treasured but never pigeon-holed.This patriotic cosmopolitanism, capped with a rendition of the national anthem, is tailor-made for the 300,000 French voters living in "Paris-on-Thames" and has propelled Mr. Macron from relative obscurity to being a leading contender in April's presidential election.

Even though Le Pen looks certain to reach the head-to-head second round, all opinion polls show she will be soundly beaten by whomever she faces, with independent centrist Emmanuel Macron now in top poll position to defeat her.

"If you don't pay attention to the details and just listen to the rhetoric, it sounds very French, very classical legalism", Lafont Rapnouil said of Le Pen's traditional discourse.

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However, Fillon has stumbled on allegations of fake taxpayer-funded jobs for his wife and children - particularly damaging for someone pledging to slash public spending.

After betting markets were surprised by the Brexit vote and the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, punters are playing Ms Le Pen's odds cautiously, putting them anywhere between 28-43% (the wide gap in price between different markets represents manna for arbitrageurs).

Ms Griset is a close friend of Ms Le Pen as well as her cabinet director. Macron has said in the past he wanted more proportional voting and less corruption in the echelons of power.

Le Pen, who has vowed to call a referendum on France's membership of the European Union if elected, has described the investigation as a vendetta. Her bodyguard was also questioned but was later released without being placed under investigation.

"Saying that because we were wrong once, wrong twice, we're wrong on Le Pen is to understand nothing about France."
"Of course, Mrs. Merkel or Teresa May will receive Mrs Le Pen as head of state".

The FN has experienced a sharp increase in popularity in recent years.

French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon holds a press conference at his campaign headquarters in Paris, France, Feb. 6, 2017.

Macron gains boost from key centrist in French election