French far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen had secured the backing of enough local government officials to run in the two-round presidential election, said party sources on Monday.

Ms. Le Pen, who heads the anti-immigrant National Front party, now has the required 500 signatures from local Mayors and other elected officials to stand in the April-May vote, said the sources.

Though opinion polls give Ms. Le Pen between 16 and 18 per cent of the national vote, there was speculation that few Mayors or regional councillors wanted to take the political risk of associating themselves with her campaign.

France's Constitutional Council last month rejected Ms. Le Pen's plea to make the sponsorships anonymous.

All French presidential candidates must have the signed endorsement of 500 elected local officials — of which there are around 42,000 in France — by a March 16 deadline.

Opposition Socialist candidate Francois Hollande is tipped to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the two-round election to be held on April 22 and May 6.

Marine's father Jean-Marie Le Pen repeatedly had claimed that he would not be able to garner the 500 signatures necessary to stand for the presidency, but was able to do so for every presidential election since 1988.

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