Latest polls in France show Marine Le Pen storming ahead of her rival Francois Fillon
The Opinionway poll suggests Mrs Le Pen has a 26.5 per cent lead over her opponent – former conservative Prime Minister Francois Fillon – who stands at 25 per cent.
The 48-year-old daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen is climbing in opinion polls with her promises to stop France becoming "globalised".
Mrs Le Pen has also vowed to make her country "free again" if she wins the election.
If no candidate wins a majority at this stage, the top two will take part in a second run-off on May 7.
Mrs Le Pen is widely tipped to reach the second and final round of the presidential vote, although pundits predict a defeat to either Mr Fillon or independent candidate Emmanuel Macron.
Mrs Le Pen is widely tipped to reach the second and final round of the presidential vote
According to the latest poll, Mrs Le Pen can expect to get 42 per cent of the votes compared to 58 per cent for Fillon, if the scandal-hit former PM were to make it through to the second round.
Mr Fillon's campaign has been hit by a string of allegations claiming his British wife Penelope was paid =8050,000 (£42,460) over eight years for a 'fake' job as a parliamentary assistant – a claim he has strenuously denied.
Mr Fillon's campaign has been hit by a string of allegations about his British wife Penelope Marion Le Pen in pictures Wed, July 27, 2016
The niece of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has joined the military reserve and has urged "young patriots" to follow in her footsteps, take a look through her career to date,
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French far right Front National (National Front – FN) party's Parliament member and candidate for the regional elections in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur (PACA)
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Former economy minister Mr Macron – a centrist – is predicted to be the likeliest candidate to take on Mrs Le Pen in the second round, with Mr Macron expected to win with 63 percent of votes over 37 percent for the Front National candidate.
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