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Tuesday, 21 March 2017 | MYT 8:15 AM

Macron seen most convincing in French election debate - poll

PARIS (Reuters) - Centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was seen as the most convincing of the top five election contenders in a French televised debate, according to an opinion poll published minutes after the debate ended.

Twenty-nine percent of viewers thought Macron was the most convincing, ahead of firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon with 20 percent, while conservative Francois Fillon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen were tied in third place with 19 percent, the Elabe poll showed.

Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon came in last in the marathon debate that lasted almost three and a half hours, with 11 percent of viewers seeing him as the most convincing.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Ingrid Melander)