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Macron Leads in French Race as Scandal Upends Fillon’s Plans

  • Fillon fights to clear name in second week of jobs scandal
  • Le Pen picks up first-round support, set to lose run-off
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France’s Fillon to Maintain Presidential Bid: AFP

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Emmanuel Macron stepped into the void left by rival Francois Fillon, setting out the first elements of his policy plans as he became the de-facto front-runner in France’s 2017 presidential election.

Macron would beat the National Front’s Marine Le Pen in May’s presidential run-off by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent, according to an Elabe poll for Les Echos and Radio Classique published Wednesday. The independent Macron would win about 23 percent of votes in the first round of voting, compared with 20 percent for Fillon and 27 percent for Le Pen, Elabe said.