French election race tightens as rivals campaign in south

France's presidential election race is looking tighter than it was seven days ago, an opinion poll showed on Saturday as the main candidates took their campaigns to the south of the country, according to Reuters

Voting intentions in the April 23 first round for the frontrunners, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, showed both slipping one percentage point to 25 and 24 percent respectively.

Third-placed conservative Francois Fillon gained two points to 19 percent, and the far left's Jean-Luc Melenchon one point to 15 percent, the BVA poll said.

Complicating predictions, 38 percent of people either could not say how they would vote, or may yet change their minds. That was down two percentage points from a week earlier, but showed that the race remains wide open.

The poll showed independent Macron had solidified his voter base, with 63 percent of those opting for him sure of their decision, up 8 points from a week ago and his highest certainty score since campaigning began in earnest in February.
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