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French Green candidate Jadot drops from presidential race

French Green party candidate Yannick Jadot has said he will support Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon. Shifting alliances ahead of April-May elections have cast uncertainty over the vote.

French green party candidate Yannick Jadot on Thursday announced he was dropping from the presidential race and would back Socialist party candidate Benoit Hamon in two stage elections in April and May.

"I am withdrawing as a candidate in the presidential election to take part in a great adventure," Jadot said on France 2 television after striking a "marvelous" agreement with with the Socialists earlier in the day.

Opinion polls show Jadot getting one or two percent of the vote, but by throwing his support behind fourth place Hamon the left hopes to consolidate its voter base to advance in the polls. Hamon has unsuccessfully sought to persuade Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon to drop out of the race and support his bid.

Watch video 25:59

French election campaign - battle of the outsiders?

Some polls show all three men may have enough supporters to give a leftist alliance a chance to mount a challenge.

Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of the National Front, is currently ahead in the polls with about a quarter of the vote. But she is forecasted to lose the second round vote on May 7 to centrist former economy minister Emmanuel Macron or Francois Fillon, the conservative candidate for the right-wing Republicans party.

Macron was given a slight boost this week after centrist François Bayrou threw his support behind the centrist candidate. Two new polls released showed Macron neck-and-neck with Fillon at about 20 percent each, while a third showed the former economy minister slightly ahead of Fillon after Bayrou's announcement.

A leftist alliance would make Macron and Fillon path to the presidency more difficult.

All the polls show Le Pen winning the first round election on April 23 but losing in the May 7 runoff against either Macron or Fillon.

cw/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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