With France gearing up to go to the polls in what could turn out to be a historic election, second run-off between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron looks likely on May 7.
With four front-runners emerging from the field of 11 candidates, two of whom are pushing for France to follow Brexit and leave the EU.
The favourite to win is independent Emmanuel Macron, a centrist candidate who founded the En Marche (on the move) party last year.
The europhile has vowed to use his power if elected to attempt to improve the EU, but does support the project as a whole.
Four front-runners emerging from the field of 11 candidates
While criticising the “endless summits … that have weakened the Commission”, he has called for an “ambitious” Europe which regains “democratic dynamism”.
But in a move which could spell choppy waters for the UK, he has claimed Britain should not get any preferential treatment once we leave the bloc.
The right-wing leader is by far the most controversial of all the candidates, but looks set to face Mr Macron in the second vote.
A econd run-off between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron looks likely on May 7
Leader of the Front National party, Ms Le Pen runs on an anti-EU and anti-Islam ticket and praised Brexit.
With her party seeing a remarkable surge in popularity in recent years, if elected she looks set to shake things up the most.
Ms Le Pen has vowed to give French people a vote on remaining in the EU, wants to take the country out of NATO, leave the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, restore France’s national borders, and imposes taxes on companies which hire foreigner or relocate jobs outside France.
French election 2017: Who are the candidates?
Fri, April 21, 2017
Eleven candidates have joined the race for the French presidency, and the campaign is now in its final days ahead of the election on 23 April
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Previously calling for a return of the national currency the Franc, her stance has shifted slightly and she has now proposed introducing a new franc at a rate of one-to-one to the euro.
A former favourite, Mr Fillion’s popularity has slumped after he become embroiled in a payments scandal.
The centre-right candidate’s support has dropped after police launched an investigation into claims he paid his family – his welsh-born wife Penelope and two of his five children – €900,000 (£752,774) of public money for jobs that do not exist.
The Républicains party candidate has his reservations about the EU, but ultimately wants to remain a member.
Mr Fillion’s popularity has slumped after he become embroiled in a payments scandal
But he is calling for a ‘renewed’ Europe which includes a secretary-general and a governing board of prime ministers.
Similar to Ms Le Pen, he is also calling for tough reforms on migration particularly around criminals, but has also pledged to the make the EU stronger militarily by calling on all members to contribute more to defence.
And on Brexit, he says he wants a “strong bilateral relation” with the UK particularly on defence.
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Left-wing candidate Mr Mélenchon is offering a clear choice to the French people if elected; withdraw from EU treaties or leave.
If elected, he plans to enforce his plan by squaring up to Brussels by refusing to comply with rules around public deficits, and suspending trade deals.
When asked his view of Brexit, he said it was a sign that UK residents rejected “a Europe of privileged people.”
The favourite to win is independent Emmanuel Macron
The remaining candidates are:
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Debout La France (Stand Up France), 55
Nathalie Arthaud, Lutte Ouvrière (Workers' Struggle), 46
Philippe Poutou, 50, New Anti-Capitalist Party
François Asselineau, Union Populaire Républicaine (Popular Republic Union), 59
Jean Lassalle, 61
Jacques Cheminade, 75
Just days before French people gear up to go to the polls a televised debate was forced to be cut short after a man began shooting nearby on Thursday night.
Three people were killed, including one police officer, after a man opened fire with a Kalashnikov near the landmark Champs-Elysees around 9pm.
The candidates were debating nearby, and n the wake of the attack Mr Fillion has cancelled his campaign events.