French candidates boost security ahead of tense vote

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says all the presidential contenders - and all French people - are potential attack targets.

Polls have so far predicted she will lose to Emmanuel Macron in the second. While Macron gained 0.5 point Le Pen is down 1 point in one week, the poll showed. Then - assuming none of those candidates get over 50% of the vote (they won't) - the top two candidates will go on to face each other in phase two; a run-off set for May 7.

The independent candidate is expected to beat the National Front leader 67 percent to 33 percent.

For Andre Boyer (75), it was immigration above all else that secured his vote for Ms Le Pen.

Macron is the only candidate so far to have said he has talked with Obama, a popular figure in France.

Voters will cast their ballots on Sunday in the first round of what has transformed into the most unpredictable French election in living memory, with four candidates within reach of the two places in a run-off a fortnight later. Some Muslims feel unfairly targeted by French laws banning headscarves in schools and full-face veils in public.

Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon promised that if he won France's presidency he would give asylum to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who has taken refuge in Moscow since revealing details of secret U.S. government eavesdropping programs in 2013.

Ms Le Pen has spent years trying to broaden support for the party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen but she appears to have suspended that approach in the final days of rallying before Sunday's first round of voting. It's in France, where many speculate that the future of the European Union will be decided.

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