06:34 GMT +320 January 2020
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    Former French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron may show strong enough results in the first tour of the presidential elections to compete successfully against the two major candidates, Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, a poll showed Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the survey by Elabe pollster for Les Echos newspaper, Macron could get 24 percent of the votes, behind the right-wing candidate Fillon and his 26 percent, but in front of far-right presidential hopeful Le Pen and her 22 percent.

    The survey suggested that this would be possible if Francois Bayrou, another candidate from the left, did not run and if the Socialist Party (PS) had Arnaud Montebourg as its nominee.

    Macron's chances would decrease if former Prime Minister Manuel Valls snagged the PS nomination, according to the survey.

    Macron, who served as economy minister under PS President Francois Hollande, said he would not compete in PS primaries and would instead present his candidature as the representative of En Marche movement he created.

    The first round of the presidential elections is scheduled to take place on April 23, 2017, and the run-off, if needed, would be held in May.

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    poll, presidential campaign, election, Francois Fillon, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, France
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