Sunday, April 23, 2017

France elections: Macron and Le Pen 'through to run-off' - BBC

The centrist Emmanuel Macron will face far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a run-off for the French presidency on 7 May, multiple projections indicate.
An Ipsos/Sopra Steria poll puts Mr Macron on 23.7% in first-round voting with Ms Le Pen on 21.7%.

Opinion polls have consistently predicted Mr Macron defeating his rival in the run-off.

The two fought off a strong challenge from centre-right François Fillon and hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Another projection, from TF1/RTL, put Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen neck and neck in the first round.

With more than three-quarters of the vote counted, official results put Mr Macron on 23.23%, ahead of Ms Le Pen on 22.83%. Results are still coming in from big cities where he has greater support.

Whoever wins the next round, the voting marks a shift away from the decades-long dominance of leftist and centre-right parties in French politics.

Macron cements his rise

While Ms Le Pen has long been seen as likely to make the second round, Emmanuel Macron's rise has been swift. The BBC's Hugh Schofield says Mr Macron's likely victory is the story of the evening.

He told cheering supporters "we have changed the face of French political life in one year", calling for people to rally against "nationalists".

A former banker, Mr Macron served as economy minister under current President Francois Hollande, quitting to launch a new party.

He has never stood for election before and if he wins would become France's youngest-ever president.

A pro-European, he has called for gradual deregulation of France's economy and a multi-billion dollar public investment plan. - Read More


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