AMIENS, France – The Latest on the French election (all times local):
Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has upstaged her centrist opponent Emmanuel Macron. She has made a surprise campaign stop to a home appliance factory that's the latest hot-button symbol of French job losses to plants overseas.
As Macron was meeting with union leaders from the Whirlpool plant in northern France, Le Pen popped up outside the factory itself. Standing amid its workers in yellow hazard vests, she declared herself the candidate of France's workers.
The wily campaign maneuver, which French television news channel BFM broadcast live, had the immediate effect of stealing Macron's thunder.
The two face off in France's presidential runoff on May 7.
French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron is going hunting for blue-collar votes, planning to meet with workers from a home appliance factory that is the latest hot-button symbol of the loss of French jobs to plants overseas.
Macron's discussions with union leaders from the Whirlpool plant in northern France, a region where his anti-European Union opponent Marine Le Pen got the most votes, is not without risk. The pro-EU centrist must walk a fine line between defending his program to tackle France's chronic unemployment without falling into the trap that befell winners in previous elections of struggling to keep campaign promises.
Le Pen, needing millions more votes to beat Macron on May 7, has vowed to keep the Amiens plant open if elected, come what may.