Emmanuel Macron is favourite to win in opinion polls as France elects a new president. Members of feminist group Femen are also detained in a protest against Le Pen. Report by Pascale Davies.
Voting has started in France, with stations opening in traditional French style. In Paris, volunteers were welcomed with coffee and croissants, and voters have been given ballot papers. It's a choice between independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, a 39 year old Pro European Union centrist whose En Marche movement is only a year old, and the Far right National Front candidate, Marine le Pen, who has campaigned on a platform of nationalism. She wants to leave the euro and put up trade barriers. Spirits are high. In the northern town of Henin-Beaumont- which has so far supported Le Pen, feminist group FEMEN - protesting topless against her becoming president. Some demonstrators detained. Meanwhile, in the northern seaside town of Le Toquet, where Macron and his wife are seen as local celebrities- not everyone's feeling inspired. The latest opinion poll gives Macron a 23- to 26-percentage-point lead over Le Pen .But abstention is expected to be high. That could play into the hands of Le Pen, whose die-hard supporters are more likely to vote. Sunday's contest marks the end of a brutal campaign characterised by extraordinary twists and turns. It's seen the collapse of traditional mainstream candidates: former favourite Francois Fillon's campaign derailed by embezzlement allegations. The latest drama unfolded on Friday. Macron's campaign revealing it has been the victim of a "massive and co-ordinated" hacking operation.