Thousands of people marched through the main cities of France Tuesday to express their opposition to the government's austerity plan.
Trade unions, left political activists and others participated, Xinhua reported.
In Paris, tens of thousands of protesters marched while Sarkozy held his last election rally before the decisive May 6 run-off.
In the southern city of Marseille, 20,000 people responded to the unions' call while 12,000 others marched in Bordeaux, according to the unions.
"It's a massive protest to take care of our problems, speak about unemployment, purchasing power. Give us answers to our problems," Francois Chereque, head of CFDT labour union, told the BFMTV news channel.
The French government has introduced a series of austerity measures, including pension reform, higher taxes and plugging tax loopholes, to save 12 billion euros ($15.8 billion).