MARINE Le Pen has labelled presidential rival Emmanuel Macron the “candidate of continuity” as the race to the second round of the crunch election heats up.

The right-winger, who is currently trailing the centrist by around 20 points in the polls, claimed Mr Macron was just like current president François Hollande.

She told supporters at a rally north of Paris: “Emmanuel Macron is just François Hollande, who wants to stay and who is hanging on to power like a barnacle.”

She branded Mr Macron, the 39-year-old leader of the En Marche! party, a candidate of “morbid continuity, littered with the corpses of jobs transferred offshore, the ruins of bust businesses, and the gaping holes of deficit and debt”.

But pro-EU former Economy Minister Macron did not take the claims lying down.

He fired back at the former Front National leader, telling reporters in Paris: “I will fight up until the very last second not only against her programme but also her idea of what constitutes democracy and the French Republic.”

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