Marine Le Pen FN
Marine Le Pen’s National Front party has been denied a presidential campaign cost rebate of about €700,000 (Reuters)

France's far-right Front National (FN) party has been dragged into controversy after election authorities denied party leader Marine le Pen a six-digit refund for her presidential campaign costs over dodgy expenses entries.

The Commission for Campaigning Costs said Le Pen has no right to be refunded €696,965 (£593,000) she claimed to have spent to fund her unsuccessful 2012 presidential bid.

Le Pen, who won 17.90% of the vote arriving third behind Nicholas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, filed a rebate request totalling €9m.

The commission didn't detail which costs were denied reimbursement.

According to Le Canard Enchaîné newspaper, Le Pen had listed a number of entries that "had little to do with the elections".

These included costs incurred to pay her private security guards and to organise a party meeting in Nice in September 2011.

FN has denied any wrongdoing and questioned the Commission's designation of some of the costs as not related to the presidential campaign.

"By ensuring that all of her electoral costs, worth a total of €9m, were listed, Ms Le Pen showed an excess of caution and a perfect intention to abide to the law," FN said.

"It's important to point out that one of the main aims of the law is to ensure that the candidates' expense lists are exhaustive, as concealing a substantial cost might be the evidence of illicit funding."

The Commission also denied smaller rebates to other candidates, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Francois Bayrou. Under French regulations presidential candidates are due a rebate for electoral campaign costs, provided these do not exceed a set spending limit.

Earlier this year, Sarkozy's UMP party was on the brink of bankruptcy after the France's top court handed the former president a €11m fine because he spent about €500,000 more than he was allowed.

The UMP was saved by a massive fundraising campaign to which Sarkozy contributed only a few thousands euros and was subsequently accused of being stingy by some of his political allies.

The commission's decision came as support for Le Pen's populist party is surging. Earlier this month, the FN took the lead in an opinion poll for the first time since Le Pen's father Jean-Marie founded the party in 1973, scoring 24% of preferences.