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France election: Macron & Le Pen lock horns in TV debate

May 04, 2017, 8:01 AM EDT
Far-right Marine Le Pen trails centrist Emmanuel Macron by 20 percentage points.
(Source: mnpo2kt/flickr)

French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen clashed in an ill-tempered duel on a TV show that lasted for two hours, as the leaders attempted to woo an estimated 18 percent of undecided voters ahead of second round run-off on Sunday.      

Macron and Le Pen traded barbs over a wide-range of issues, including terrorism, the economy and Europe, writes the BBC. Far-right candidate Le Pen, who trails her opponent by 20 percentage points, was particularly severe on Macron’s track record as economy minister in the Socialist government.

According to a poll, about 63 percent of the voters found Macron more convincing in the debate that saw the two politicians offering “diametrically opposed visions for France,” notes Reuters.