In keeping with global trends, this year's race has shaken up the country's political geography, with populist politicians on the far-left and far-right gaining ground over establishment candidates.
Since the corruption scandal against him came to light at the end of January, Fillon has been regularly greeted at campaign stops with banging pots and other gestures of disdain.
In the latest scandal to hit Francois Fillon's presidential candidacy, his wife has been charged for allegedly misusing public funds.
The decision to support Francois Fillon's candidacy was taken at an emergency meeting after former prime minister Alain Juppe ruled out replacing him.
The Republicans had tipped Alain Juppe to replace their crisis-hit presidential candidate Francois Fillon, whose popularity has waned over a fake jobs scandal.
The raid in Paris is part of an investigation into whether Fillon paid his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax payer money for works as his parliamentary aide – work she allegedly did not do.
Calling the investigation into his hiring of family members for fake parliamentary jobs "political assassination," Fillon called on his supporters to "resist" and said he would leave it up to voters to decide his fate.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy denies playing a role in an illegal funding affair during his campaign to get re-elected as president in 2012. A source says one of two magistrates presiding over the case has signed a trial order.
Francois Fillon rejects 'abject' allegations of wife's fake job and says "clearly these allegations are to try and take me down as a presidential candidate."
Largarde is accused of being negligent over a 400 million euro payout to a controversial businessman during her time as France's finance minister.
Christine Lagarde's trial is only the fifth to be held before the Cour de Justice de la Republique, a special tribunal created in 1993 to try cabinet ministers.
President Francois Hollande said he did not want "France to be exposed to risks which would cost it dear".
Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world.
Copyright © 2020 TRT World.