- Title: Fillon seeks last-gasp boost in French presidential election
- Date: 9th April 2017
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (APRIL 9, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS AT RALLY
- Embargoed: 23rd April 2017 18:34
- Keywords: Francois Fillon France presidential election rally
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0056BOETDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Two of the outside contenders in France's presidential election, Francois Fillon and Jean-Luc Melenchon, whipped up support with mass rallies on Sunday (April 9), seeking a last-gasp boost ahead of an increasingly tight first voting round.
For weeks, polls have shown centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen on track to top the first round of voting on April 23 and go through to a May 7 runoff.
But recent polls have shown the race tightening as the front-runners faltered and far-left maverick Melenchon surged after strong performances in two televised candidates' debates.
Fillon's campaign has struggled as he seeks to defend himself from nepotism allegations.
Fillon addressed a crowd of supporters waving the blue, white and red national flag at a show of strength in Paris, which according to organizers drew over 20,000 people.
There were no independent estimates of the crowd sizes.
Fillon, 63, was an early frontrunner to win the election but his bid faltered following allegations that he had paid his wife and two of his five children hundreds of thousands of euros of public money for minimal work. He denies any wrongdoing.
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