Centrist Emmanuel Macron has pulled ahead of right-wing populist Marine Le Pen in a snap poll following a fiery TVdebate Wednesday night.
More than 60 per cent of viewers found Mr. Macron more convincing than Ms. Le Pen in the debate, according to an opinion poll by Elabe for BFMTV.
Around 34 per cent, meanwhile, said the arguments of Ms. Le Pen were more persuasive.
The former Front National leader has defied post-debate polls in the past, however.
In a survey by the same company after last month’s debate with all the first round candidates, Ms. Le Pen received the smallest share of support for her vision for France, coming behind “anti-capitalist” Jean-Luc Melénchon and scandal-hit conservative François Fillon.