FIRST AIRED: April 10, 2017

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00:00:01
>> The official start of the French presidential campaign. And a last gasp boost in support for two of the outside contenders. For weeks, polls have shown Centrist Emmanuel Macron, a far right leader Le Pen, on track to top the first round on April 23rd. But now, the race is tightening.
00:00:19
Right-wing Francois Fillon and far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon whipping up enthusiasm with mass rallies on Sunday. Maverick Melonchon surging, after strong performances in two televised candidates' debates. The polls now showing the former Trotskyist pulling ahead of Fillon for the first time. Reuters' Ingrid Melander explains his appeal.>> Jean-Luc Melenchon has been in French politics for decades.
00:00:45
That he's managed to actually bill himself as a new candidate, someone who's out of the system, out of the establishment. He's got his own YouTube channel, he's had it for awhile and it's working really well. So somehow he's found a way to connect with voters in a way that's different from the mainstream politician.
00:01:03
He's very good in debates. He's good with words. He's got nice expressions, he's quite poetic. Let's say he's a proper left-wing candidate, and that's sort of appealing to part of the electorate that was missing such politicians.>> Melenchon aims to take France out of NATO and hold a referendum on EU membership.
00:01:24
Back in 2012, his insurgent campaign also drew crowds and favorable polls. But he fell short in the end with 11% of the vote. Fillon II is hoping for an upset. The early front runner saw his fortunes flipped when he was hit by allegations that he had paid his wife and two of his five children public money for minimal work.
00:01:45
He denies any wrongdoing with one in three French voters still undecided of first round supplies cannot be ruled out.