Poll shows Macron advance in French presidential race

PARIS (Reuters) - A new poll of French voter intentions on Monday showed independent centrist Emmanuel Macron on par with far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of France's presidential vote, and Macron the clear winner in the two-way runoff.

The Elabe poll, published a month-and-a-half from the April 23 opening round, showed Macron, an ex-banker who is campaigning on a promise of a break from traditional left-right politics, scoring 25.5 percent alongside 26 for Le Pen.

That would send the two into a May 7 playoff at the expense of all other round-one contenders, including the scandal-tainted conservative Francois Fillon, who was initially the consistent frontrunner as candidate of The Republicans.

As in all other polls to date, Le Pen is seen losing the run-off, in this case with a vote score of 40 percent versus 60 percent for either Macron or Fillon, the poll showed.

(Reporting by Brian Love; Editing by Ingrid Melander)

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