Emmanuel Macron has promised to restore French optimism. The independent centrist was speaking to a crowd of around 20,000 people at the Bercy arena in Paris. As the leading candidates all stepped up their election campaigns over the Easter weekend. He said: "What has been proposed to the French in the last 20 years is not liberation or reconstruction, but a slow, unavowed acceptation of unemployment, state impotence and social breakdown.”
Meanwhile, Ms Le Pen’s bid to become France’s next president suffered today after a meeting in Paris was disrupted by anti-fascist militants.