Marine Le Pen upstaged Emmanuel Macron by making a surprise visit to an under-threat factory
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen upstaged her rival Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday by making a surprise visit to an under-threat factory just as he was visiting the town where it is based.
Macron was in his hometown of Amiens in northern France to try to counter accusations he had made a complacent start to campaigning after he finished ahead of Le Pen in the first round of the election on Sunday.
But while Macron had arranged to meet workers from the Whirlpool domestic appliance factory without actually visiting the site, Le Pen turned up unannounced and posed for photographs with workers.
"Everyone knows what side Emmanuel Macron is on -- he is on the side of the corporations," Le Pen said.
"I am on the workers' side, here in the car park, not in restaurants in Amiens."
The factory operated by Whirlpool, a US multinational company, is threatened with outsourcing to Poland.
Macron, a 39-year-old former investment banker who created his own centrist movement, was to hold a rally later in the nearby city of Arras, a city in the northern rustbelt where Le Pen topped the first round of voting.
He drew criticism for what some saw as a triumphalist speech and then a celebratory dinner at a Paris bistro on Sunday.
Socialist Party boss Jean-Christophe Cambadelis told French radio: "He was smug. He wrongly thought that it was a done deal."
Macron served as economy minister in the Socialist government before quitting in August to launch his presidential bid.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)