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French President Emmanuel Macron cleared a major hurdle on the path to re-election with a combative TV debate performance against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen that convinced most viewers, a poll said, even if he was still deemed arrogant.

Although Le Pen came across as more polished and composed than in a TV duel for the presidency in 2017, Macron went on the offensive over her ties to Russian leadership, her plans for the economy and her policy for the European Union.

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