French far-right leader Jordan Bardella said Monday his party was ready to govern as he pledged to curb immigration and tackle cost-of-living issues ahead of the country's most divisive election in decades.

"In three words: we are ready," the 28-year-old  president of the National Rally (RN) party told a press conference. 

President Emmanuel Macron threw France into turmoil by calling the snap election after his centrist party was trounced by the far-right National Rally (RN) in a European vote. 

Weekend polls showed the RN garnering 35 to 36 per cent of voting intentions in the first round on Sunday, ahead of a left-wing alliance at 27 to 29.5 per cent and Macron's centrists in third at 19.5 at 22 per cent.

The telegenic Bardella, credited with helping the RN clean up its extremist image, has urged voters to give the eurosceptic party an outright majority to allow it implement its anti-immigration, law-and-order programme. 

"Seven long years of Macronism has weakened the country," he said, vowing to boost purchasing power, restore order and change the law to make it easier to deport foreigners convicted of crimes.

He reiterated plans to make it harder for people born on French soil to gain citizenship and to cut "spending that favours immigration". 

"It's been 30 years the French have not been listened to on this subject," he said. 

Bardella added that the RN would focus on "realistic" measures to curb inflation, primarily by cutting energy taxes. 

He also promised a "big bang of authority" in schools, including a ban on mobile phones and trialling the introduction of school uniforms, a proposal previously put forward by Macron.

On foreign policy, Bardella said the RN opposed sending French troops into Ukraine - as mooted by Macron - but would continue to provide logistical and material support. 

He also said his party, which had close ties to Russia before its invasion of Ukraine, would be "extremely vigilant" in the face of Moscow's attempts to interfere in French affairs.

Moscow was accused of meddling in the 2017 election that brought the Europhile Macron to power.

'Patriotic and Republican' party

The election is shaping up as a clash between the RN and the left, led by the hard left France Unbowed of veteran firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Bardella claimed the RN, which mainstream parties have in the past united to try to block, was the "patriotic and republican" choice faced with what he alleged the anti-Semitism of the left.

The left denies the charges of anti-Semitism but has vocally opposed the war in Gaza. 

Macron insisted this weekend he would finish out his term until 2027, defying calls from Marine Le Pen, the RN's figurehead, to step down if her party wins control of parliament.

He vowed instead to change course if his centrist alliance prevailed.

"The goal cannot be to just continue as things were," Macron said in an open letter published in French media.

He also attempted to prevent the election from becoming a referendum on his controversial leadership style.

The election is "neither a presidential election nor a vote of confidence in the president of the republic", he argued.

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