The French began voting on Sunday in an election that will determine whether pro-European Union, centrist President Emmanuel Macron retains his job or is deposed by far-right eurosceptic Marine Le Pen in a political earthquake.

Opinion polls in recent days gave Macron a solid and slightly growing lead, as analysts said Le Pen remained unpalatable for many, despite her efforts to soften her image and tone down some of her National Rally party’s policies.

However, given the large number of voters who were undecided or unsure whether they would vote in the runoff presidential election, a surprise Le Pen victory cannot be ruled out.

With polls showing that neither candidate has a large enough base of committed supporters, much will depend on a group of voters who are weighing their concerns about the consequences of a far-right presidency against their dissatisfaction with Macron’s performance since his election in 2017.

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