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Will Marine Le Pen beat Emmanuel Macron in the runoff?

Mr Macron also managed to secure the largest vote in areas previously won by Mrs Le Pen, such as the Strasbourg region of the Rhine, due to the complete collapse of his former Republican party across the country.

But Ms Le Pen also proved to be a serious candidate in western France, making big profits in the areas around Le Mans and even stealing the largest share of votes from Mr Macron in several departments.

Her growing attractiveness, part of an active effort to soften her far-right image and policies, is demonstrated by the fact that in 2017 she garnered less than 20 percent of the vote in half of all French provinces in the first round.

This year, it won less than 20 percent in just one of seven districts.