French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen advance to run-off

French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen advance to run-off
Marine Le Pen (Image: YouTube screen grab via BBC News)

France woke up this morning to the news that independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen would go head-to head in the presidential run-off on 7 May.

Former Minister of the Economy, the 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron took 23.7% of the vote for his progressive political movement, En Marche, in the first round.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Front National, came in second in the opening round, polling 21.5% nationally.

high turnout in close race

Right up until the first-round vote, pollsters thought the race was too close to call between Macron, Le Pen, Republican Francois Fillon, who took 19.9% of the vote, and far-left Jean-Luc Melanchon, who took 19.6%.

Turnout was high at 78%, though slightly down on the 2012 participation rate of 79.48%, with nearly 47 million votes counted overall.

Le Pen in the North

In Marion [sic] Le Pen’s northern stronghold in the Pas-de-Calais, she accounted for over 34% of the vote.

Within Le Pen’s own Henin-Beaumont constituency, reactions to her triumph in the first round were mixed.

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