11 Apr 2022
Emmanuel Macron has won the first round of the presidential election in France, whilst far-right leader Marine Le Pen will, for a second time, fight him for the presidency.
Although Macron won the first round, the run-off could be a lot tighter, according to opinion polls. He told supporters "Make no mistake, nothing is decided," whereas Le Pen vowed to "put France back in order.”
A total of 97% of results have now been counted, with Macron winning 27.6% of the vote, Marine Le Pen 23.41% and far-left candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon gaining 21.95%, BBC reports.
"Nothing is decided, and the battle we will wage in the next 15 days will be decisive for France and Europe," Macron told supporters, urging them to get behind him on 24th April.
According to pollsters, Ifop, a very close runoff is expected, with 51% for Macron and 49% for Le Pen. Others forecast a slightly larger margin in Macron’s favour, rising to 54%. Yet this falls short of the stats from 2017 when Macron defeated Le Pen with 66.1% of votes, Reuters reports.
Le Pen told voters she would protect the weak in society and unite the country tired of its elite.
"What will be at stake on April 24 is a choice of society, a choice of civilisation. I will bring order back to France." She added that now’s the time for a "great changeover", with a key choice of two opposite views: "Either division and disorder, or a union of the French people around guaranteed social justice."
Macron, meanwhile, told supporters waving French and EU flags: "The only project that is credible to help purchasing power is ours."
Furthermore, Conservative candidate Valerie Pecresse cautioned of “disastrous consequences" if Macron suffered defeat, whilst Socialist Anne Hidalgo encouraged supporters to vote for Macron "so that France does not fall into hatred." Jean-Luc Melenchon added: "Not one vote for Le Pen!"