PARIS Unknown to the wider public until three years ago and still only 39, Emmanuel Macron, a centrist and former investment banker, has built a party machine from scratch and is favourite to win France's presidential election this spring.
Here's a timeline on his rise to prominence:
2010: Macron, a graduate of the prestigious Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), joins Socialist Francois Hollande's entourage even before the future president emerges as favourite to win his party's nomination.
Early 2012 - With Hollande now the Socialist candidate following the disgrace of Dominique Strauss-Kahn the previous year, Macron has his first disagreement with his boss on economic policy, calling his plan to tax top incomes at 75 percent "Cuba without the sun".
May 15, 2012 - Macron named deputy secretary general of the Elysee by President Hollande. In charge of economic affairs, sherpa at G8, G20 and European summits.
He lobbies for more pro-business reforms.
Dec 31, 2013 - Hollande, elected on a tax, spend and anti-bank platform, makes a pro-business U-turn, announcing what will be a 40 billion euro tax break for companies in his new year's eve address. reut.rs/2oTyFBP
June, 2014 - Macron resigns as Hollande's top economic policy adviser after jostling for power with other members of the president's staff. Plans to launch consultancy firm "Macron Partners" and to teach in London and Berlin.
Aug 26, 2014 - Hollande sacks his leftist economy minister Arnaud Montebourg for criticising the U-turn. Macron named in his place. reut.rs/2pG5UIF
Feb 17, 2015 - After hours of debates, Macron's flagship labour market deregulation bill is forced through parliament under special government powers by Prime Minister Manuel Valls. reut.rs/2oq8BNn
Aug 28, 2015 - At the annual summer meeting of the employers' group Medef, Macron says the left is wrong to think France can move ahead by working less - an open attack on the 35-hour-week rules held dear by many in the country.
Nov 9, 2015 - Macron makes a high-profile presentation at the finance ministry to showcase the second instalment of his deregulation bill. It was named Noé (nouvelles opportunités économiques), and dubbed "Macron 2".
Nov 13, 2015 - A militant Islamist attack in Paris kills 130 people at the Bataclan concert hall, nearby bars and restaurants, and at a sports stadium on the edge of the capital.
Nov 21, 2015 - Macron tells French think-tank Les Gracques that stresses in French society are "partly responsible" for such attacks.
Nov 25, 2015 - Valls slams Macron in public, saying in parliament that no-one should find "social, sociological and cultural excuses" for such attacks.
Dec 24, 2015 - Macron sends letter to Hollande and Valls pressing them to accelerate reforms to address economic and social issues in the wake of the attacks. The letter remains unanswered.
Jan 20, 2016 - "Macron 2" bill cancelled, measures chopped up and distributed to other ministers.
Feb 11, 2015 - Valls reshuffles government. Macron demoted a few places in protocol order.
March 12, 2016 - "Youth with Macron" think-tank launched, fuelling rumours about higher political ambitions.
April 6, 2016 - Macron launches "En Marche!" in his hometown of Amiens. Speculation grows that he has presidential ambitions
April 13, 2016 - Macron and his wife pictured on cover of the magazine Paris Match under headline "Together on the road to power".
April 14, 2016 - Hollande says Macron "knows what he owes me".
April 22, 2016 - Macron replies he is not Hollande's "yes-man".
May 28, 2016 - Macron launches door-to-door campaign across France to canvass views on how France should change.
July 12, 2016 - Macron tells rally in Paris that he will go "all the way", in comments seen by some Socialists as provocation to Hollande just two days before his traditional presidential address on Bastille Day.
July 14, 2016 - Nice attacks. It later emerges that Macron postpones as a result his plan to resign from government.
Aug 11, 2016 - New Paris Match cover with Macron and his wife Brigitte in swimming suits. "Love holiday before the offensive" is the headline.
Aug 30, 2016 - Macron resigns from government.
Sept 2016 - Source close to Macron tells Reuters he is thinking of fielding En Marche candidates in all 577 constituencies for the 2017 election. Says Macron thinks there is only a 50 percent chance Hollande will run for a second term Ministers, conservative camp step up attacks on him.
Oct 4, 2016 - Macron holds rally in Strasbourg to present his "diagnosis" for the country. Two others follow in Le Mans and Montpellier.
Nov 16, 2016 - Macron officially declares bid for presidency.
Nov 27, 2016 - Fillon wins conservative presidential ticket
Dec 1, 2016 - Hollande says will not seek re-election.
Dec 5, 2016 - Valls launches bid for Socialist nomination.
Dec 10, 2016 - Macron holds big rally in Paris, 10,000 people attend.
Jan 24, 2017 - Fillon hit by fake jobs allegations in Le Canard Enchaine.
Jan 29, 2017 - Leftist Benoit Hamon wins Socialist primaries, Valls eliminated.
Feb 1, 2017 - Macron overtakes Fillon in the presidential polls, seen qualifying for the second round alongside far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen and winning that run-off.
Feb 22, 2017 - Macron wins backing of veteran centrist Francois Bayrou, jumps 5 points in opinion polls in following days
April 23, 2017 - France holds first round of the presidential election. The two top performers will then go through to a final round on May 7. Macron, who has clung to his lead in opinion polls in recent weeks, is expected to be one of those two candidates.
For a graphic, click on: tmsnrt.rs/2osFt7n
(Compiled by Michel Rose; Editing by Andrew Callus and Gareth Jones)