Attack overshadows last campaign day in French election first round

Francois Fillon, member of the Republicans political party and 2017 presidential election candidate of the French centre-right (R), and Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and candidate, attend the France 2 television special prime time political show, "15min to Convince" in Saint-Cloud, near Paris, France, April 20, 2017.

Ms Le Pen used the aftermath of the Champs-Elysees attack - which Islamic State has claimed it carried out - to call for the government to immediately expel foreigners being monitored by intelligence services and reinstate France's borders.

She said "a clear head and a firm grip" were required in the wake of the gun attack, saying: "It is time to stop being naive".

Until now, Le Pen had struggled to get the campaign to focus on her party's trademark tough security and immigration stance.

"I think what we're looking at largely here today is just a waiting game, " said John Canavan, market analyst at Stone and McCarthy Research Associates in Princeton, N.J.

Investigators believe at this stage that the gunman, 39-year-old Frenchman Karim Cheurfi, was alone in killing a police officer and wounding two others and a German tourist on Thursday night.

Trump tweeted early Friday, "Another terrorist attack in Paris".

Will French voters be forced to choose between two presidential candidates that are hostile to the euro and free trade?

The attacker was shot dead by police at the scene.

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French President Francois Hollande promised "absolute vigilance, particularly with regard to the electoral process" following the attack.

But the polls show a four-way race has developed between her, Emmanuel Macron; François Fillon, the scandal-scarred conservative candidate; and Jean-Luc Melenchon, far-left firebrand.

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - The euro fell back on Friday, trading nearly a cent off this week's highs as investors prepared for the first round on Sunday of a tight French presidential election race.

An assault on a soldier in February at the Paris Louvre museum by a man wielding a machete also had no obvious impact on this year's opinion polls, which have consistently said that voters see unemployment and trustworthiness of politicians as bigger issues.

Pollsters suggest that Le Pen and Macron will win Sunday's vote to go through to the second round runoff on 7 May.

But a political scientist, who predicted Donald Trump's victory, said she doesn't need it.

In the second round, Macron loses one point against Le Pen but continues commanding a robust lead of 64% from 65% against 36%.

The one thing that can be certain is that Le Pen could capitalize on this attack as a further justification for her presidency.

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