>> He started the French Presidential Race as a dark horse outsider, but three months on Emmanuel Macron is clinging on to a lead in the tensest of races. The latest poll released Wednesday shows the centrist candidate is still the favorite to win. But it also predicts that the first round of voting on Sunday is too close to call.
Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are expected to qualify for the May 7 run off. Though both candidates' popularity has dipped by around 2%. The closely watched Cevipof poll predicts Macron will win 23% of the votes in the first round, with Le Pen trailing on 22.5%. Security concerns coming to the fore after two men were arrested in Marseille on Tuesday, suspected of planning an imminent attack on the presidential campaign.
Leftist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon expressing his solidarity with rivals in the face of threat. He, too, still in the race, with his ratings soaring to 19%. That puts him narrowly behind conservative leader François Fillon. He's been dogged by a nepotism scandal, but party rivals are getting behind him at the 11th hour.
>> Next Sunday, we need come together to avoid the very common condition of the right division. Come together with one single objective, what's in the interest of France. And for me, it's clear. The interests of France requires each of us to vote without hesitation for François Fillon.>>
>> And then there's a fifth contender of sorts, abstention. A forecast non-voting rate of 28% in line with a record posted in the 2002 election. And that could be another boost for Le Pen. Her supporters seem more passionate, and thus more likely to get out and vote.>>