Macron and Le Pen ahead

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Thursday's attack, which was claimed by Islamic State, was carried out by a man who got out of a auto that pulled up next to a police van on the Champs Elysees and opened fired on officers inside and outside the vehicle.

However, with so many voters undecided and the traditional role of the Socialists not being played out this year, the result of Sunday's election is still too close to call.

But as expected, the attack dominated the final day of the campaign.

The abstention rate was in line with a record level in the 2002 election, where the then National Front leader - Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen - made it to the run-off before he was beaten by conservative Jacques Chirac.

Supporters of French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen hold banners and wave French flags during a campaign meeting on April 19, 2017, in Marseille, southern France.

Mapping what it says have been tightly-correlated moves in the euro against the odds of a Le Pen presidency this year, Goldman Sachs analysts estimated the euro could appreciate to $1.13 if she is knocked out of the race in Sunday's vote. She immediately responded by saying security in the country was failing its citizens.

"Not everything has been done to protect our citizens".

"For several weeks, we will need to assess the situation". I don't want our youth to get used to living with this danger.

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"On the face of it, the officers were deliberately targeted", Brandet said. Two other police officers were injured in the incident, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

Francois Fillon is in second place behind Emmanuel Macron.

A source close to the investigation told CNN the suspect was "Fiches S", or "S card", indicating that he was regarded as a potential threat to national security. The French election has come down to a race between a centrist moderate willing to keep borders (reasonably) open versus a far-right populist who would pull the country out of worldwide treaties and try to stop all immigration into France. Police set off tear gas to disperse them.

If Mr Melenchon makes it to the runoff, he is projected to beat both Ms Le Pen and Mr Fillon by comfortable margins although he is seen losing to Mr Macron 41 per cent to 59 per cent.

A poll by the BVA firm published Wednesday evening said Macron led with a one-point advantage over Le Pen, with Fillon and Melenchon four points behind.

"Whether this could tip the election is to be seen", Bell said.

What happens after the first French vote? "Even this smaller incident, in comparison to some of the ones before, is going to have a fairly large impact", he said.

Security concerns took centre stage on Friday in the last days of France's tight presidential race as candidates defended their stance on the fight against terror in the wake of a shooting in Paris which killed one policeman. "Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election".