France said its security forces were fully mobilized for a presidential election at the weekend after the killing of a policeman by an Islamist militant threw a dark shadow over the last day of an unpredictable campaign.

With the first round of voting in the two-stage election due to take place on Sunday, centrist Emmanuel Macron still held on to his position as frontrunner in the closely contested race.

An Elabe survey of voter intentions, carried out before the Thursday night shooting on the Champs Elysees (Shaunce-El-e-see) shopping avenue in central Paris, showed Macron with 24 percent of the first-round vote and far right leader Marine Le Pen falling back slightly to 21.5 percent.

According to Reuters News Agency, two other candidates – former conservative Prime Minister Francois Fillon and the far left’s Jean-Luc Melenchon – had 20 and 19.5 percent respectively.

Sunday’s round of voting will be followed by a second-round runoff on May 7 between the top two candidates.

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