Security dominates French election after shooting

Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:52pm GMT
 

By Leigh Thomas and Marine Pennetier

PARIS (Reuters) - The killing of a policeman by a suspected Islamist militant pushed national security to the top of the French political agenda on Friday, two days before the presidential election.

With the first round of voting in the two-stage election taking place on Sunday, far-right nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen promised tougher immigration and border controls to beat "Islamist terrorism" if elected.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron, who narrowly leads a tight race ahead of Le Pen, said the solutions were not as simple as she suggested, and that there was "no such thing as zero risk".

Anyone who said otherwise was irresponsible, said Macron, a former economy minister in the government that Le Pen has repeatedly criticised for its security record.

There are four leading candidates in a race that is still too close to call. Sunday's voting will be followed by a runoff on May 7 between the top two candidates.

The first poll conducted entirely after Thursday's attack suggested Le Pen had gained some ground on Macron.

While he was still seen winning the first round with 24.5 percent, his score slipped half a percentage point while Le Pen's rose by one to 23 percent.

Conservative Francois Fillon, a former prime minister, and the far left's Jean-Luc Melenchon were both down half a percentage point on 19 percent in the Odoxa poll for the newspaper Le Point.   Continued...

A combination picture shows six of the eleven candidates for the French 2017 presidential election, L-R: Nathalie Arthaud, France's extreme-left Lutte Ouvriere political party (LO) leader, UPR candidate Francois Asselineau, Jacques Cheminade, Debout La France group candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Jean Lassalle, Philippe Poutou, Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) presidential candidate in Paris, France. France goes to the polls on Sunday April 23, 2017 in the first round of its presidential election.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photos
 
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