France Election: Last Day of Campaigning

Candidates in the French presidential election are on their last day of campaigning before voters head to the polls on Sunday.

Masks have been made of the top five candidates: (from right) Sarkozy, Le Pen, Hollande, Melenchon and Bayrou

Candidates in the French presidential election are on their last day of campaigning before voters head to the polls on Sunday.

No campaigning is allowed the day before the election.

Front-runner Francois Hollande has already held a final rally in Bordeaux, while President Nicolas Sarkozy will hold his last campaign event in Nice.

Polls show the two men neck-and-neck, but Socialist candidate Mr Hollande is expected to win a run-off vote.

The far-right candidate Marine le Pen could take around 17% of the vote, while left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon has come from behind to see poll ratings at 14-15%.

Centrist Francois Bayrou is likely to come in fifth place.

With only one day of campaigning to go, polls suggest nearly one in four voters have yet to make up their minds in what is being called the closest-run French election for decades.

Economic focus

Campaigning has focused on the economy, with Mr Sarkozy boasting of good economic growth in 2011 but struggling with unemployment at 10%.

Both leading candidates have promised to balance the budget, but Francois Hollande has emphasised his focus on growth rather than austerity.

Earlier in the week, Mr Hollande said he would not endorse the EU fiscal compact if it fails to promote growth.

The agreement on ensuring budget discipline among EU states is meant to be approved by January and has been championed by President Sarkozy.

The first round of the French elections will be held on Sunday and - provided no candidate gets an absolute majority - a runoff between the two top candidates will be held on 6 May.