Europe

France debates: did Le Pen or Macron win Whirlpool fight?

  • French centrist presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron, center, addresses a group of workers at the Whirlpool home appliance factory, Wednesday April 26, 2017 in Amiens, northern France. Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has earlier upstaged Macron as she made a surprise campaign stop to the plant. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    French centrist presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron, center, addresses a group of workers at the Whirlpool home appliance factory, Wednesday April 26, 2017 in Amiens, northern France. Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has earlier upstaged Macron as she made a surprise campaign stop to the plant. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

  • French centrist presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron, center, talks to workers at the Whirlpool home appliance factory, Wednesday April 26, 2017 in Amiens, northern France. Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has earlier upstaged Macron as she made a surprise campaign stop to the plant. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    French centrist presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron, center, talks to workers at the Whirlpool home appliance factory, Wednesday April 26, 2017 in Amiens, northern France. Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has earlier upstaged Macron as she made a surprise campaign stop to the plant. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

  • French far-right leader and candidate for the presidential election Marine le Pen waves from a fishing trawler as she arrives from a sea trip in Grau-du-Roi, southern France, Thursday April 27, 2017. After "the battle of Whirlpool," when Marine Le Pen and centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron both went hunting for France's blue-collar vote, the presidential candidates clashed over fish in a return to more traditional campaigning. (AP Photo/Jean-Paul Bonincontro)

    French far-right leader and candidate for the presidential election Marine le Pen waves from a fishing trawler as she arrives from a sea trip in Grau-du-Roi, southern France, Thursday April 27, 2017. After "the battle of Whirlpool," when Marine Le Pen and centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron both went hunting for France's blue-collar vote, the presidential candidates clashed over fish in a return to more traditional campaigning. (AP Photo/Jean-Paul Bonincontro)  (The Associated Press)

France is furiously debating who out of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron won "the battle of Whirlpool" — the remarkable clash of styles on Wednesday when both presidential candidates stumped for blue-collar votes at a closure-threatened appliance factory in northern France.

Former presidential candidate Francois Bayrou — a Macron ally — is awarding victory to the centrist former economy minister, saying Macron showed courage by spending over an hour trying to talk with angry workers at the Whirlpool plant in Amiens.

He was dismissive of Le Pen's much shorter visit, saying: "She stayed 10 minutes, with selfies and smiles, and that's not a presidential campaign."