Europe

French presidential candidate Macron cheered by Lyon rally

  • Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron shakes hands at the Entrepreneurs Fair in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. With French President Francois Hollande having abandoned hopes of a second five-year term and conservative candidate Francois Fillon weakened, National Front leader Marine Le Pen and independent maverick candidate Macron are making hay. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron shakes hands at the Entrepreneurs Fair in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. With French President Francois Hollande having abandoned hopes of a second five-year term and conservative candidate Francois Fillon weakened, National Front leader Marine Le Pen and independent maverick candidate Macron are making hay. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, right, and his top aide Axelle Tessandier, center left, are seen on a phone screen during a visit at the Entrepreneurs Fair in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. With French President Francois Hollande having abandoned hopes of a second five-year term and conservative candidate Francois Fillon weakened, National Front leader Marine Le Pen and independent maverick candidate Macron are making hay. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, right, and his top aide Axelle Tessandier, center left, are seen on a phone screen during a visit at the Entrepreneurs Fair in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. With French President Francois Hollande having abandoned hopes of a second five-year term and conservative candidate Francois Fillon weakened, National Front leader Marine Le Pen and independent maverick candidate Macron are making hay. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, right, speaks, as his top aide Axelle Tessandier, left, looks on, during a visit at the Entrepreneurs Fair in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. With French President Francois Hollande having abandoned hopes of a second five-year term and conservative candidate Francois Fillon weakened, National Front leader Marine Le Pen and independent maverick candidate Macron are making hay. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, right, speaks, as his top aide Axelle Tessandier, left, looks on, during a visit at the Entrepreneurs Fair in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. With French President Francois Hollande having abandoned hopes of a second five-year term and conservative candidate Francois Fillon weakened, National Front leader Marine Le Pen and independent maverick candidate Macron are making hay. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker who's never held elected office, is holding a major rally in Lyon with his eyes set on winning France's presidential election this spring.

Macron, a 39-year-old telegenic former finance minister under President Francois Hollande, distanced himself from the Socialist Party to create a party called En Marche! ("On The Move!") from which he has launched an anti-establishment bid for the Elysee Palace.

Macron — now polling high in the presidential race — thanked the crowds Saturday in Lyon for their "enthusiasm," claiming they totaled 16,000 people.

Conservative lawmakers, meanwhile, were visiting their constituencies this weekend to stem the damage surrounding their selected presidential candidate, Francois Fillon, after his family became the object of an embezzlement probe into fake political jobs.