April 22 (UPI) — Coming off a strong debate performance on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron appears to have built a solid lead over far-right rival Marine Le Pen going into France’s presidential election this weekend.
Going into the final day of campaigning Friday, an Ipsos poll showed that 57% of questioned voters said they will cast their ballot for Macron. About 43% said they will vote for Le Pen.
A BVA poll Friday showed Macron with an 11% lead over Le Pen, who’s been described by some as a female version of Donald Trump.
While most analysts believe that Macron won the three-hour debate on Wednesday, Le Pen’s campaign has worked hard to paint the incumbent president as “arrogant and disdainful” in his performance.
“The current government has been led by the privileged minority for the privileged minority. That’s the reality,” Le Pen said, according to BBC News.
“I am running for president to change that. To establish a government of the people, for the people, giving back power to the people.”
In the first round of voting earlier this month, Le Pen stunned most experts by losing by only 4 points to Macron, 27.8% to 23.2%, in a crowded field, forcing a runoff for the French presidency.
The race is a rematch from 2017. Then, Macron edged Le Pen in the first round of voting and later captured 66% of the vote in the final round.
Le Pen has since moderated her image and toned down some of the hard-right rhetoric to appeal to more voters. Meanwhile, Macron has been more focused on the French economy and Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.
The results of the election are expected on Sunday.