Germany, Portugal, Spain leaders urge French to back Macron
After the first round of elections and debate, 50% of the French favor Macron over Le Pen.
Meddling in the domestic politics of a sister EU state, the leaders of Germany, Portugal, and Spain urged France on Thursday to support centrist President Emmanuel Macron over far-right leader Marine Le Pen in elections this weekend.
France faces a "choice between a democratic candidate... and an extreme-right candidate," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote in the daily Le Monde.
France faces a "choice between a democratic candidate... and a candidate of the extreme right who openly joins ranks with those who attack our liberty and democracy," they said.
They expressed hope the French will choose a France that has been a "beacon of democracy".
"It is this France that is also on the ballot paper on April 24," they said.
Over 50% of French favor Macron over Le Pen after debate - Poll
According to an Elabe survey for L'Express, BFMTV, and SFR broadcasters, Emmanuel Macron, the current head of state and candidate for the presidency of France, appears more convincing than his adversary, Marine Le Pen, after a televised debate held on Wednesday.
Macron was named the "winner" by 59% of respondents, against 39% for Le Pen.
According to the poll, 36% of respondents believe Macron is more able to unify the French than Le Pen, while 31% believe Le Pen is better able to unite the French.
Macron is also viewed as more energetic by 49% of respondents, more honest by 36%, and more arrogant by 50%.
Read more: Despite widening lead, Macron allies warn victory not certain
Le Pen, on the other side, appears more concerning to 50% of respondents, but also more understanding of citizens' problems by 37% and more capable of reforming by 51%.
The survey was conducted online among 650 people aged 18 and older.
The first round of the French presidential election was place on April 10. Current President Emmanuel Macron received 27.84% of the vote, while Le Pen received 23.15%, ensuring that they will square off in a second round on April 24.