Marine Le Pen and Macron NECK AND NECK in latest French presidential election poll

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The centrist candidate Macron has gained on the far-right Le Pen and the pair are now polling at 26 per cent, according to Kantar Sofres-Onepoint.

Centre-right Les Republicains candidate François Fillon – who has been charged with misuse of public funds – is set to come in third place with 17 per cent of the vote.

It comes as official campaigning has now begun, with France’s Constitutional Council announcing a list of the 11 contenders who have met conditions to stand.

The list also includes Benoit Hamon, candidate of the divided Socialist party, and left-wing firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon, who are running fourth and fifth, respectively, in opinion polls.

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