The election battleground is turning very French as France heads to election day on Sunday the 23rd of April. An unfortunate incident saw Marine Le Pen attacked on stage by topless woman with bunch of flowers. The incident took place after violent street clashes between protesters and cops.
Marine Le Pen was addressing some 5,000 Front National supporters at the Zenith concert hall in Paris which is located in the north of the city. Her campaign rally was marred by protesters throwing missiles at police authorities. The chaos erupted on the streets outside as frightening masked demonstrators dressed in black clashed with cops.
The demonstrators threw objects including rocks, chunks of wood and smoke bombs at riot police standing between them and the venue.
Police authorities were seen firing tear gas back in an attempt to keep the mob at bay. Gilbert Collard who is the FN lawmaker told reporters on arriving at the hall that he was hit in the neck by a beer bottle and that other objects were aimed at him before police intervened.
One of the FN official identified as Jean Messiha said that he saw Molotov cocktails being thrown. However, the protests were not confined to outside the arena. Another topless female protester later shouted out from the middle of the concert hall in an apparent protest against the candidate.
The opinion polls have for months indicated that Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron are qualifying for the May 7 run-off.
However, the gap with conservative Francois Fillon and far-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon has been tightening. Le Pen was addressing her supporters when she said that the choice they make on Sunday is simple. It will be a choice between a France that is rising again and a France that is sinking at the same time.
Le Penpledged to suspend all immigration and shield voters from what she termed as savage globalization, telling the crowd that mass immigration is not an opportunity for France but a tragedy for France. Le Pen also slammed the EU and its border-free Schengen area, saying that France sometimes has fewer rights than foreigners even illegal ones.
The polls have not shown Le Pen missing out on the run-off, any two of the top four candidates have a chance of qualifying. The polls have consistently shown her losing in the second round.
The pollsters say that record high numbers of voters might not bother turning out, adding that people should go to the polling stations on Sunday. There was also emphasis being placed by FN firebrand urging her supporters to fight for victory until the very last minute.