Analysis: A Le Pen wins more acceptance than ever in France

PARIS (AP) -- When France last put a Le Pen onto the threshold of the presidential Elysee Palace, one step from power, it could write off the 2002 election shock as a mere accident. Jean-Marie Le Pen squeezed into the winner-takes-all runoff against Jacques Chirac with just 17 percent of the vote, a record low.

Old-guard rallies around newcomer Macron for French runoff

PARIS (AP) -- France's established parties are rallying around the man who helped shut them out of the presidential runoff, maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron -- an alliance of convenience aimed at keeping far-right Marine Le Pen out of the Elysee Palace. Support for Macron also poured in Monday from the seat of the European Union, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jewish and Muslim groups troubled by Le Pen's nationalist vision.

French vote for Macron, Le Pen shuts out mainstream politics

PARIS (AP) -- French voters shut out the country's political mainstream from the presidency for the first time in the country's modern history, and on Monday found themselves being courted across the spectrum for the runoff election. The May 7 runoff will be between the populist Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron, and French politicians on the moderate left and right immediately urged voters to block Le Pen's path to power.

Melenchon's working-class rhetoric hits home in French vote

PARIS (AP) -- He's been labeled the French Fidel Castro, but his mentor in politics is the late French President Francois Mitterrand. A radical Trotskyist in his youth, he's also served as a minister in a Socialist government. It took Jean-Luc Melenchon a long time to find his own way in politics.

The Latest: Le Pen vows to tackle 'root of evil' in France

PARIS (AP) -- The Latest on France's two-round, April 23-May 7 presidential election (all times local): 9:35 p.m. Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen wants to fight terrorism by tackling the "root of evil" in French society. She said in a speech on Monday she would oversee a tough repression of criminals who risk turning to jihad and a cleanup within the Muslim population to rid it of fundamentalists who try to intimidate peaceful believers.

Le Pen criticized for denying French blame in WWII roundup

PARIS (AP) -- Marine Le Pen, a leading contender in France's presidential race, has prompted an outcry by denying that the French state was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II. Her remark rolled back more than two decades of policy on France's responsibility in the darkest period of its modern history.