France election: Leading candidates appear in TV debate

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Francois Fillon, Emanuel Macron, Benoit Hamon, Jean-Luc Melenchon and Marine Le Pen before the debate

The five leading candidates in the French election are appearing in the first TV debate of its kind.

Recent polls show Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National getting most votes in the first round of voting.

But they also show centrist Emmanuel Macron or scandal-hit centre-right candidate Francois Fillon defeating her in a second round run off.

Voters go to the polls on 23 April. A second round will be held on 7 May if necessary.

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All you need to know about the French election

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Previous elections have seen televised head-to-head debates between the two remaining candidates ahead of a second round of voting.

But this is the first time the leading candidates have agreed to debate with each other before the first round.

Image copyright BbC


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