PARIS Centrist Emmanuel Macron would come top in the first round of France's presidential election ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, according to an Odoxa poll, the first to show Macron with a first-round lead.
The former economy minister would win 27 percent of the vote in the April 23 first round followed by Le Pen at 25.5, leaving conservative Francois Fillon eliminated at 19 percent, the poll showed.
However, if Fillon, whose campaign is unravelling as he battles allegations of state payments to family members, withdrew then fellow conservative Alain Juppe would get first place with 26.5 percent of the vote if he ran.
In that scenario, Macron would just barely make it to a May 7 runoff against Juppe, edging out Le Pen with 25 percent of the vote to 24 percent for her.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Adrian Croft)