Emmanuel Macron's assumed grip on the keys to the Elyee Palace could be loosening as his lead against far-right Marine Le Pen has narrowed ahead of the final week of the French Presidential race.
The centrist candidate's predicted win dipped below 60 percent for the first time since mid-March, according to the latest Opinionway poll, which saw Le Pen's campaign gaining further traction after she temporarily distanced herself from her Front National party.
The polls now see Macron emerging victorious from May 7's second round runoff, but with 59 percent to Le Pen's 41 percent – a notable shift from his anticipated 65 percent clear lead. However, it is still very much all to play for.
The polls have been wrong before, however, and the final outcome will largely hinge on the decision of the almost 55 percent of the population who did not back either candidate.
Voter turnout crucial
It is anticipated that left-leaning voters could swing to back Macron while more conservative members of the electorate could be inclined to back Le Pen; however, a large proportion of French people say they will abstain entirely.
Approximately 35 percent of Jean-Luc Melenchon backers, 24 percent of Francois Fillon supporters, and around 20 percent of Benoit Hamon voters say they will not vote, disheartened as they are by their choice, according to a composite of polls taken after the first round.