FRANCE is heading to the polls today for the final round of the presidential race, following an election eve hacking attack on the favourite Emmanuel Macron which rocked the campaign.

The country’s election campaign commission held a hastily arranged meeting yesterday to discuss the “significant” leak of emails, documents and internal campaign information which appeared on a file sharing website shortly before campaigning ended on Friday night.

Voters face a stark choice today between far-right candidate Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-European Union platform, or Macron's progressive, pro-EU stance.

France’s election campaign commission released a statement saying the leaked data apparently came from Macron's "information systems and mail accounts from some of his campaign managers".

The watchdog said it had been "fraudulently" obtained and that fake news has probably been mingled with it.

The commission urged French media and citizens "not to relay" the leaked documents "in order not to alter the sincerity of the vote".

French media was also warned not to publish the documents, saying that some were “probably” fake and that criminal charges could be brought under laws that impose a blackout on any campaigning and media coverage seen as swaying the election ahead of the vote taking place - which began on Friday at midnight and is due to last until Sunday at 8pm,

The election black-out period, aimed at giving voters time to reflect, also meant Macron and his team could not comment on any of the leaked information.

However, just before it came into force on Friday, Macron's En Marche! movement said it had been the victim of a "massive and co-ordinated" hacking attack that led to the leak of campaign emails and financial documents.

In a statement, the movement said it was hacked a few weeks ago and that the leaked documents had been mixed with false documents to "seed doubt and disinformation" and destabilise the presidential run-off.

It did not blame any specific party, but compared it to the leak of emails from Hillary Clinton’s camp in last year’s US presidential campaign, which was blamed on Russian hackers.

The hacking attack was the latest twist in the battle for the Élysée between Macron and Le Pen, which has been marred by bitterness, tension and protests right to the end.

The race has seen protesters clashing with police and candidates insulting each other on national television.

The last polls put Macron on course for a comfortable victory, with his lead widening to 62%.

But in the final hours of campaigning, Le Pen said she believed she can still pull off a surprise victory and that win or lose, “we changed everything”.

Even if she loses, she is likely to be a powerful opposition figure in French politics in the upcoming parliamentary election campaign.

Early voting in French overseas territories and French embassies abroad got underway yesterday. The first French territory to vote was Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, an archipelago located near Newfoundland, where polling stations opened in the morning.

Voters had chosen Macron and Le Pen in the first-round vote, dumping the traditional left and right parties that have governed modern France.

Le Pen, 48, has brought her far-right National Front party, once a pariah for its racism and anti-Semitism, closer than ever to the French presidency, seizing on working-class voters' growing frustration with globalisation and immigration.

Macron, 39, also played a key role in upending France's traditional political structure with his wild-card campaign.

The vote is also being seen as a test for global populism and the future of the European Union.

Many voters, however, do not like either candidate.

They fear Le Pen's party's racist past, while worrying that Macron's platform would demolish job protections or be too much like his mentor, the deeply unpopular outgoing president Francois Hollande.

On Friday students protested against both presidential candidates by blocking high schools and marching through Paris.