Partial French official results show Macron, Le Pen in second round

by Ben Pena April 24, 2017, 5:17

The French residents chose from 11 candidates in the first round, but only two of them will make it to the second round on May 7, which will be held if nobody gets support of more than half of voters.

Mathilde Jullien, 23, said she is convinced Macron will beat Le Pen and become France's next president.

With almost 90 percent of the vote in, Macron had almost 24 percent of the vote, followed by Le Pen at around 22 percent. "It is time to free French people from arrogant elites".

Le Pen has campaigned on a divisive anti-immigrant and xenophobic platform, and was accused of exploiting last week's shooting of a Paris police officer in an effort to garner votes.

Initial projections after voting closed on Sunday placed centrist Le Marche! leader Mr Macron as the victor, with right-wing, anti-immigrant Front National leader Marine Le Pen just behind him.

With Le Pen wanting France to leave the European Union and Macron wanting even closer cooperation between the bloc's 28 nations, Sunday's outcome meant the May 7 runoff will have undertones of a referendum on France's European Union membership.

Macron, a 39-year-old who had never before stood for election and only started his independent centrist movement 12 months ago, will be the overwhelming favourite to win the second round on May 7.

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Last night, rival politicians, including Fillon, the nominee of the conservative Republican Party, began to rally around Macron to prevent Le Pen from taking the presidency. If she were successful, it would probably sink an institution that has helped bind Europe together for decades.

Macron may face a hard task in winning sufficient backers in the French parliamentary elections in June, necessitating some kind of delicate political compromise with established centrist and left-wing parties.

Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, scored the first breakthrough in the French presidential elections by the National Front, winning a slot in the runoff in the 2002 ballot.

At a French cultural centre in Montreal, both applause and boos rang out as a French TV station announced its projections just after the vote closed at 2 p.m.

The election is the first in the history of France's 59-year-old Fifth Republic to take place under a state of emergency.

Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon, who was far behind in Sunday's results, quickly conceded defeat.


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