Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with the professor of politics and co-director at the Centre for Europe at Aston University, John Gaffney.
According to Gaffney, the outcome of the vote could significantly impact the future of the EU.
"The four candidates who are all kind of bunched up together have created the situation whereby nobody is quite sure anymore who is going to go through to the second round. They all have different views on how they want France to be in the future and that includes attitudes to Europe," the expert argued.
At the same time, Gaffney noted that Europe has had "a major effect" upon the election campaign itself. In particular, the European question determined the political agendas of the main presidential candidates.
"One can say that the only truly sort of pro-European is the centrist Macron. Even Fillon, who is also pro-European, much more wants to go back to a kind of Europe that used to exist, where France and Germany essentially run the show. He wants to actually create a political Europe that actually only involves the eurozone countries. So that the EU would be easier to control and French influence would be greater," Gaffney said.
"But as his popularity in the poll has risen, he kind of calmed down about that because he realized that although the French don't love Europe, they don't want to leave it. Therefore, he has become very, very ambivalent about his attitude to Europe," the expert noted.
Another presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, who ran a whole campaign on leaving Europe also has realized that "it is a dangerous thing to go for," Gaffney stated.
"This is because the French don't really want to leave. And therefore, she, too, has turned down her attitude to Europe although she doesn't like it, she wants to get out, she even wants to leave the euro and create a new franc," he argued. "So, Europe has had a major effect upon this campaign," the expert concluded.
The four most prominent candidates are far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, the head of the far-left political movement La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France) Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Republican Party's nominee Francois Fillon and independent candidate Emmanuel Macron.