Europe

France's would-be presidents rally in Paris days before vote

  • French anti-riot officers stand next to a placard of far-right National Front leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen during a protest march from suburban Aubervilliers to Paris, Sunday, April 16, 2017. Le Pen is one of the top contenders in France first-round presidential vote on April 23. A presidential runoff is being held May 7. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    French anti-riot officers stand next to a placard of far-right National Front leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen during a protest march from suburban Aubervilliers to Paris, Sunday, April 16, 2017. Le Pen is one of the top contenders in France first-round presidential vote on April 23. A presidential runoff is being held May 7. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Feb.5, 2017 file photo, French far-right leader presidential candidate Marine Le Pen acknowledges applause in Lyon, central France. Do voters judge a book by its cover? France's presidential candidates certainly think they do, and more than ever are trying to get their political message across through their wardrobes, from centrist Emmanuel Macron's regular-guy suits to far right leader Marine Le Pen's masculine dark wardrobe and hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon's communist-inspired jackets. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

    FILE - In this Feb.5, 2017 file photo, French far-right leader presidential candidate Marine Le Pen acknowledges applause in Lyon, central France. Do voters judge a book by its cover? France's presidential candidates certainly think they do, and more than ever are trying to get their political message across through their wardrobes, from centrist Emmanuel Macron's regular-guy suits to far right leader Marine Le Pen's masculine dark wardrobe and hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon's communist-inspired jackets. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 9 2017 file photo, French hard-left presidential candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, speaks in Marseille, southern France. Do voters judge a book by its cover? France's presidential candidates certainly think they do, and more than ever are trying to get their political message across through their wardrobes, from centrist Emmanuel Macron's regular-guy suits to far right leader Marine Le Pen's masculine dark wardrobe and hard-left Melenchon's communist-inspired jackets.(AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)

    FILE - In this April 9 2017 file photo, French hard-left presidential candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, speaks in Marseille, southern France. Do voters judge a book by its cover? France's presidential candidates certainly think they do, and more than ever are trying to get their political message across through their wardrobes, from centrist Emmanuel Macron's regular-guy suits to far right leader Marine Le Pen's masculine dark wardrobe and hard-left Melenchon's communist-inspired jackets.(AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)  (The Associated Press)

French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are hoping to bring in big crowds at competing rallies in Paris as the unpredictable presidential race nears its finish.

Meanwhile, far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, enjoying a late poll surge, is campaigning on a barge Monday floating through Paris canals. And conservative Francois Fillon is taking his tough-on-security campaign to Nice, scarred by a deadly truck attack last year.

The race is being watched internationally as an important gauge of populist sentiment, and the outcome is increasingly uncertain just six days before the April 23 first round.

The top two vote-getters advance to the May 7 second round, and polls now suggest that Le Pen, Macron, Melenchon and Fillon all have a chance of reaching the runoff.