Far-right chief Le Pen within reach of French Presidency
Marine Le Pen's campaign is focused on eliminating benefits for many immigrants, rejecting the primacy of EU law, and closing the door to most asylum seekers.
Marine Le Pen has spent years fighting to make the far-right party she inherited electable, and she now appears to have a legitimate shot at challenging incumbent Emmanuel Macron for the French presidency this month.
After Sunday's first-round vote, polling predicts she will face the centrist in a run-off on April 24 unless there is a significant upset.
And this time, Macron cannot rely on the customary united front of mainstream French voters, which has seen off Le Pen and her father in previous elections.
Read more: Le Pen catching up with Macron in election polls
Her outstanding performance is due in great part to her ability to soften her image throughout the 11 years she has led the former National Front, which she renamed the National Rally (RN) after the expulsion of her father, Jean-Marie, an openly racist figure and veteran of the long war in Algeria that ultimately led to the former French colony's independence, in 2015.
Following a humiliating beating from Macron in a television debate on Europe and economic policy before the 2017 election, Le Pen has this time concentrated on the cost of living issues in the wake of growing inflation.
However, the details of her platform have remained mostly unchanged, including measures such as eliminating benefits for many immigrants, rejecting the primacy of EU law, and closing the door to most asylum seekers.
The 53-year-old has also enjoyed cover from the emergence of Eric Zemmour, the French Donald Trump and polemicist who is still further to the right, and even more anti-Islam and anti-immigration.
Experts have cautioned that the measures proposed by Marine Le Pen will undermine ancient French principles.
"This text represents nothing less than an exit from the constitutional framework France has lived in since the Revolution," constitutional law expert Dominique Rousseau told Challenges magazine.
Le Pen's ideas include a "national preference" for selecting French workers over foreigners, excluding non-citizens from certain social benefits, and opting out of elements of the European Convention on Human Rights.