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French presidential race unexpectedly tightens

Staff Writer | April 14, 2017
France's presidential race looked tighter than it has all year on Friday, nine days before voting starts.
French presidential race
France   The Ipsos-Sopra Sterna poll
One poll put all four main candidates within touching distance of the two-person run-off round.

The Ipsos-Sopra Sterna poll for daily Le Monde showed centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen tied on 22 percent each in the April 23 first round, with the far-left's Jean-Luc Melenchon and conservative Francois Fillon on 20 and 19 percent respectively.

That 3 percentage point gap among the top four was within the poll's margin of error, suggesting the election is wide open.

A second poll published on Friday showed a bigger, six-point gap separating the four main players in a first-round field of 11 candidates.

The daily survey by Opinionway had Macron as leader on 23 percent and Melenchon the laggard on 17.