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Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche ! (or Onwards !) and candidate for the 2017 presidential election leaves the Chancellery after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

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PARIS (Reuters) - France's Emmanuel Macron has gained ground and would win 26 percent in a first round of voting in the presidential election next month, moving to within one point of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, an Ipsos opinion poll showed on Friday.

The poll, published by Le Monde, saw the centrist politician going on to beat the National Front's Le Pen in the May 7 runoff with 61 percent to her 39 percent.

The poll showed that in the April 23 first round Le Pen would lead with 27 percent and former conservative prime minister Francois Fillon, in third place, would have 17.5 percent - both unchanged versus the previous poll carried out on March 1-5.

Macron improved his position in the first round by one percentage point, but fell by one point in the second round versus the previous poll.

(Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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