Far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron came out swinging from the start of Wednesday's only televised head-to-head debate of the presidential election.
Le Pen immediately blasted Macron as a cold banker who would worsen unemployment levels and allow the finance sector to plunder the economy. She called herself the "candidate of the people, of the France we love. "
Macron shot back that Le Pen lacked finesse and, for many years, has profited on the anger of the French people and promoted the "spirit of defeatism."
For more than two hours they sparredin the last chance to convince voters ahead of Sunday's election that they are qualified to lead a nation, which has become increasingly fractured over the current government's inability to cope with concerns around immigration, integration and an ailing economy.
In the end, 63% of those who participated in survey after the debate found Macron more convincing than Le Pen, according to pollster Elabe, which provided results for CNN affiliate BFMTV.(Source: CNN)