05:25, 21 November 2017
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French election: Le Pen pledges to suspend immigration

One of the frontrunners in the French presidential election,

far-right leader Marine Le Pen, says she would suspend all legal immigration to France. The National Front (FN) leader told a rally that she wanted to stop "a mad, uncontrolled situation". Polls suggest she is neck and neck with centrist Emmanuel Macron, ahead of Sunday's first round of voting. Mr Macron warned voters that choosing far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon would be like Cuba without the sun. Opinion polls predict that Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen will reach the second round on 7 May. But it looks like a very tight race. According to an Elabe poll for news channel BFMTV, Mr Macron is on course to get 24% of the vote in the first round, Marine Le Pen 23%, conservative Francois Fillon 19.5% and Mr Mélenchon 18%. Polls suggest that Mr Macron would be favourite to win in the run-off. At a rally in Paris, Ms Le Pen said "I would decide on a moratorium on all legal immigration to stop this frenzy, this uncontrolled situation that is dragging us down". After that, she said, France would introduce "much more drastic, more reasonable, more humane, more manageable rules" on immigration. Left-wing daily Liberation called it "one of the most hardline speeches of her campaign", aimed at satisfying grassroots supporters. In all, 11 candidates are competing in the first round. About a third of French voters are still undecided, opinion polls suggest, making it one of the most unpredictable elections in decades. Mr Fillon has been regaining some ground, polls suggest, despite being embroiled incorruption allegations. Mr Mélenchon chose a barge on a Paris canal to rally his supporters and was set to use a hologram of himself to appear at several events across the country at once on Tuesday.