Nicolas Sarkozy

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French presidential election candidates:  Francois Fillon of  the right-wing Les Republicans (LR) party;  Marine Le Pen   of the far-right Front National (FN) party; Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche! movement; and  Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the  far left coalition La France Insoumise. Photographs: AFP/Getty Images

WHAT DO THE POLLS SAY? Support for the front-runners, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, eroded towards the end of the campaign, while Francois Fillo(...)

In one sense the underlying theme, the leitmotif, of the French presidential election has remained unchanged for the last couple of years: it is – and(...)

Lilian Thuram holds up the Euro 2000 trophy two years after  he and his team-mates won the  World Cup for France, a victory that was portrayed in the media as white, black and brown Frenchmen coming together to conquer the world. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

It’s typical of France’s attitude to sport that a recent documentary looking at 20 years of the French national team contains almost nothing about foo(...)

Martin Schulz: his SPD party is neck and neck with Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

What difference would it make if Martin Schulz were to become German chancellor? How would a President Emmanuel Macron change France? These are two of(...)

 Marine Le Pen,  leader of far-right Front National. She denounces dire forecasts as fear-mongering by her opponents. Photograph: Mathieu Cugnot/EPA

There will be no jubilant crowds waving blue-and-gold European flags and singing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in French streets on Saturday to mark the 60th(...)

Campaign posters of French presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron.  Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty

In more than 20 years as a pollster, Frédéric Dabi, the director of Ifop, France’s oldest polling company, says he has never seen anything as “unthink(...)

French senate president Gerard Larcher makes a statement at conservative party Les Républicains’ headquarters after a meeting to discuss the presidential candidacy of Francois Fillon. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

The political committee of the French conservative party Les Républicains (LR) abandoned an attempted heave against their presidential nominee Françoi(...)

Former French prime minister François Fillon: Six weeks into “Penelopegate” opinion polls indicate he will be eliminated in the first round on April 23rd. Photograph: Reuters

The political family that Gen Charles de Gaulle founded with the Fifth Republic in 1958 has descended into an absurd melodrama in which François Fillo(...)

Former prime minister of France  Alain Juppé prepares to step down from the podium after announcing at a press conference on Monday that he would not seek to replace Francois Fillon as the centre-right candidate in the presidential election. Photograph: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images

The man seen as a possible saviour of France’s centre-right has disappointed supporters by announcing he will not stand in next month’s presidential e(...)

French presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron, pictured on Friday ahead of a meeting in Paris with  former US secretary of state John Kerry. A poll has placed Mr Macron in first place in the first round of the election next month. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/AFP/Getty Images

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron cemented his status as favourite to win the French presidency on Friday as his conservative rival, Francois Fillon(...)

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