Here’s everything you need to know about the election:
How does it work?
The French president is elected over two rounds. The first round was held on 23 April.
Macron received 23.8% of the vote share and Le Pen got 21.5%. They knocked out Francois Fillon, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Benoit Hamon.
As no candidate received 50% of the vote then the top two candidates proceeded to the next round. Whoever gets the most votes on May 7 will become France’s next president.
When is the French election?
Voters will go to the polls on Sunday.
French people will head to the polls from 8am to 7pm local time, or until 8pm in larger cities such as Paris, Lyon and Marseille.
Who are two candidates?
Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will battle it out to become France’s next president.
Macron, 39, worked in the civil service before joining Rothschild investment bank in 2008. He left the bank four years later to join Francois Hollande’s staff.
In 2014 then-French Prime Minister Manuel Valls made Macron Minister for the Economy. Macron quit the government in August 2016 to launch his presidential bid.
Macron heads the independent political movement ‘En Marche’ (On the Move).
Le Pen is the youngest daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, who is the former leader of the National Front and a convicted racist.
When Le Pen took over from her father as leader of the party she tried to distance the group from the controversial issues advocated under his leadership, such as deporting three million foreigners.
Le Pen, 48, temporarily stood down as president of the National Front last month in a bid to distance herself from the party,
“Tonight, I am no longer the president of the National Front. I am the presidential candidate,” she said following the first election round.
What do the two candidates stand for?
Macron, who has never held elected office, has told the electorate that he is neither left, nor right wing, but “for France”.
Macron is a staunch Europhile and wants an open economy, including closer cooperation with the rest of Europe.
He said in his manifesto that he hopes to entice British business and banks to relocate to Paris.
The centrist wants to invest in green energy and to train tradesmen to reduce youth unemployment.
He has also promised to crack down on those claiming unemployment benefits who repeatedly turned down job offers.
In a last-minute intervention, former US President Barack Obama backed the centrist candidate in a video tweeted by Macron on Thursday.
Obama said he supported Macron because he appealed to “people’s hopes and not their fears”.
He ended the message with the words ‘Vive la France’.
If Le Pen wins the presidency she has promised an EU referendum in France within a few months of taking office.
The far-right politician is a supporter of Brexit and hailed it as the most important event since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Le Pen wants to quit the euro currency, hire 15,000 police and build more prisons to make room for another 40,000 inmates.
She also wants to automatically expel foreigners who have been condemned in court and close all mosques suspected of links with radical Islam.
The far-right leader wants to make it much harder to become a French citizen, meaning that being born in France would no longer give right to citizenship .
Le Pen’s close ties with other far-right groups in Europe could hinder her chances of gaining support from the centre-right.
The Dutch Freedom Party, Alternative for Germany, the Italian Northern League, Austria’s Freedom Party and Belgium’s Flemish Interest are all part of the National Front-led Europe of Nations and Freedom grouping in the European Parliament.
What do the polls say?
Macron has extended his lead in the polls over his far-right rival.
According to an Elabe poll for BFM TV and L’Express, Macron will get 62% of the votes in the second round compared to 38% for Le Pen, Reuters reports.
This latest poll is an increase of three points for the centrist candidate compared to predictions in the last Elabe poll.
The poll was carried out after Wednesday’s lively debate between the two final contenders. Viewing figures said 16.5 million people watched the debate.
According to French polls at the time, Macron was seen by viewers as having won the contest.
But there is expected to be a lot of people abstaining from Sunday’s vote, which could hinder the centrist’s chances.
A separate poll on Friday by Odoxa said a quarter of the French electorate was likely to abstain. Many of these are left-wing voters who are disappointed that their candidates missed reaching the runoff.
The turnout for the first round of the election was almost 78%.
What are the odds?
Coral places the odds for the next French President at:
- Emmanual Macron: 1/9
- Marine Le Pen: 11/2
Ladbrokes also places the odds at:
- Emmanual Macron: 1/9
- Marine Le Pen: 11/2
When will the results be announced?
French media is not allowed to give exit polls until after the stations close.
The result is expected to be announced at 8pm when the image of the next president of France will be shown on TV.
Official results will be published on the French Interior Ministry website soon after.