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Will Marine Le Pen beat Emmanuel Macron in the run-off?

Mr Macron also managed to secure the largest vote in areas previously won by Ms Le Pen, such as the Strasbourg region of Bas-Rhin, owing to the complete collapse of his former party, the Republicans, across the country.

But Ms Le Pen has also proven herself to be a serious candidate in western France, making big gains in the areas surrounding Le Mans and even stealing the largest vote share from Mr Macron in several departments.

Her growing appeal, part of an active effort to soften her far-Right image and policies, is demonstrated by the fact that in 2017 she scored less than 20 per cent of the vote in half of all French provinces during the first round. 

This year, she gained less than 20 per cent in just one in seven areas. 

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