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In France, 4 Presidential Candidates in Tight Race


FILE - Candidates in France's presidential race pose for a group photo before a television debate at French private TV channels BFM TV and CNews, in La Plaine-Saint-Denis, outside Paris, April 4, 2017.

France’s presidential election race looked tighter than it has all year Friday. With nine days to go until voting begins, a new opinion poll put the four leading candidates 3 percentage points apart.

The two highest scorers in the first round April 23 will go through to contest a run-off May 7.

According to a poll by Ipsos-Sopra Steria, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen were tied on 22 percent each, with the far-left’s Jean-Luc Melenchon and conservative Francois Fillon at 20 and 19 percent respectively.

That made the most likely second-round scenario one that pits Le Pen against Macron — a scenario that is consistent with most other surveys. The poll showed Macron winning that face-off with 63 percent of votes.

Other polls have also been showing the race tightening during April, with the two leaders losing ground and the chasing pair, especially Melenchon, picking up support.

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