The first round of the French presidential election is done and dusted. In a vote against the established political classes, France’s next president will come from outside of the two major political parties. Here we bring you all the results and reaction in our #Election News.
After a closely fought first round in which four candidates were in with a chance, it was the two anti-establishment forces which ultimately prevailed and progressed. Either Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen will be the next to move into the Élysée Palace.
French Presidential Election: Results at a glance
- Macron, En Marche – 23.75%
- Le Pen, National Front – 21.53%
- Fillon, Republican – 19.91%
- Mélenchon, France Insoumise- 19.64%
- Hamon, Socialist Party – 6.35%
Emmanuel Macron is now favored to win the presidency in a head-to-head runoff vote against Le Pen in two weeks. After his progression, the 39-year-old political outsider said: “I want to become the president of all the people of France – the president of the patriots in the face of the threat from the nationalists”. He spoke these words standing in front of both the French and European flags, symbolizing his pro-European Union stance.
Many pro-EU leaders have already congratulated Macron on his progression to the second round. A spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel tweeted “It’s good that Emmanuel Macron was successful with his course for a strong EU and social market economy. All the best for the next two weeks”. Likewise, EU foreign affairs representative Federica Mogherini said: “the result is the hope and future of our generation”.
Le Pen was also upbeat about her chances of taking the presidency after her successful first round performance. The National Front leader hailed the result as “historic” and told her supporters “it confers on me the immense responsibility of defending the French nation, its unity, its security, its culture, its prosperity and its independence”.
Fellow anti-EU voices across the continent have lined up to congratulate Le Pen on reaching the second round. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, proclaimed that Le Pen’s success was a “bright day for patriots in France and elsewhere who want more national sovereignty and less EU and immigration”.
The Second Round
Despite her optimism, Le Pen appears to be facing an uphill battle. Third-placed republican, Francois Fillon, has called on the people to unite behind Macron in the second round of voting. Likewise, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has thrown his support behind Macron in order to stop the “regression and division” he believes Le Pen would bring to France.
However, Le Pen must not be written off. With the established political classes lining up behind Macron, Le Pen can position herself as the only remaining anti-establishment candidate.
The second round will take place on May 7. Whatever the result, we’ll be here to cover it as always in #Election News.