Marine Le Pen has brought the National Front from fringe status into the political spotlight and made herself a real contender to be France's first woman president and its first far-right leader since World War Two.

Since taking the helm in 2011, Le Pen has sought to rid the party of the anti-Semitic image it acquired under the nearly 40-year leadership of her father, ex-paratrooper Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The twice-divorced mother of three has positioned the party instead as an anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic force offering protectionist policies to shelter French workers from globalization.

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