The former investment banker has promised to carry his new movement "En Marche" to victory in 2017. Le Parisien's latest polls show the economy minister as a top pick in the presidential race.
French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said he was determined to take his recently launched political movement "En Marche" to victory in 2017, stopping short of announcing a presidential bid.
"We will carry (the movement forward) together to 2017 and to victory … From tonight, we have to be what we are, which is the movement of hope," Macron told more than 3,000 supporters at the movement's first rally.
Veteran Socialist politicians, including Lyon Mayor Gerard Collomb and former Trade Minister Nicole Bricq, attended the rally, the strongest support from within French President Francois Hollande's party.
Macron has described the movement's aims as "neither of the left nor of the right. He has also said that "it will not be a movement to produce yet another presidential candidate."
However, a poll published by the French newspaper Le Parisien showed 36 percent of the country supported Macron for president, while only 14 percent showed support for Hollande.
The French president has struggled to boost his approval rating, which has reached a post-war low under his tenure.
The 38-year-old Macron, a former investment banker, joined Hollande's cabinet in 2014 during the president's pro-business pivot in a bid to offset high unemployment that has plagued his time in office.
ls/jil (Reuters, AFP, dpa)