Le Pen visits French factory, Macron wins ally before runoff
15:14, May 1, 2017
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Dupont-Aignan is a nationalist whose protectionist economic policies are close to those of the National Front's Le Pen and who, like her, wants to reduce the powers of European Union institutions.
Meanwhile, Macron was aiming to draw voters from rural France with his globalist message and claimed that the Le Pen-Dupont-Aignan alliance was a "scam".
Far-right candidate for the 2017 French presidential election Marine Le Pen attend with Nicolas Dupont-Aignan a media conference in Paris, France, Saturday, April 29, 2017.
Macron also won a new ally with an endorsement from once-prominent centrist Jean-Louis Borloo. "We will form a government of national unity that brings together people chosen for their competence and their love of France", Le Pen said, as quoted by Reuters.
Macron was campaigning in central France when he heard the news.
Unlike a factory visit last week when Le Pen upstaged Macron and took selfies with workers, however, Le Pen's visit Sunday to the Alteo plant in the town of Gardanne appeared to fall flat.
A day earlier, the interim leader of Le Pen's National Front party stepped down over controversial comments about the Holocaust. "So I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in-depth the European Union and our European project", Macron told the BBC.
Melenchon has refused to explicitly endorse the liberal Macron, breaking with France's "republican front" tradition of the big parties coming together to halt the FN.
Macron, who is leading in the polls by 20 percentage points, and Le Pen spent Sunday campaigning around France.
Melenchon's spokesman Alexis Corbiere rebuffed Le Pen's advances, telling supporters: "Not one vote should go to the National Front".
Ms Le Pen's efforts to clean up the racism and anti-Semitism that has stained her anti-immigration National Front party's past may be undermined by a parallel Paris event by her father, Jean-Marie, who was expelled from the party over his extreme views.
In 2015 she booted him out of the party for repeatedly calling the Nazi gas chambers a "detail" of history, but this month she was herself criticised for saying France bore no responsibility for the roundup and deportation of French Jews during World War II.
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