France’s Macron and Le Pen are set to go to the polls on April 24

  • Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen lead in the first round
  • The presidential election will take place on April 24
  • The war lines drawn between globalism and nationalism

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron and challenger Marine Le Pen qualified for Sunday’s hard-fought presidential election.

Partial results that put Macron ahead of Le Pen after the first round of voting, while other key candidates conceded defeat. With the exception of another far-right candidate, Eric Zemor, they all urged voters to block the far-right in the second round.

But after five years in power, his abrasive style has upset many, while Macron will have to fight hard to win back disgruntled voters, even if Le Pen succeeds in softening his image. He cannot simply take for granted that voters will rally around the traditional front against the far right. read more

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Macron told supporters that “nothing has been decided and the war we will wage in the next 15 days will be decisive for France and Europe.” The second largest economy.

Ifop polls predict a very tight run, with 51% for Macron and 49% for Le Pen. Because the gap is so tight the winner will be on the verge of error by any means.

Other polls suggest a slight difference of up to 54% in favor of Macron. But it was much shorter than it was in 2017, when Macron defeated Le Pen with 66.1% of the vote.

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Thanks to a campaign focusing on the cost of living issue, Le Pen, who has been leading Macron’s 10-point referendum in recent weeks, said it was to protect the weak and unite a nation weary of its elite.

“Being in danger on April 24 is the choice of society, the choice of civilization,” he told supporters, “We will win!” As she told them: “I will bring the order back to France.”

Macron, meanwhile, waved French and EU flags and told supporters: “Our only plan is to help buy power.”

“Disaster”

With 96% of the vote counted in the first round on Sunday, Macron received 27.41% of the vote and Le Pen 24.03%. The total vote count was expected to take place at midnight.

Le Pen’s victory on April 24 will come as a shock to the establishment, such as Britain’s Brexit referendum from the European Union (EU) or Donald Trump’s 2017 entry into the White House.

From being the driving force for European integration, France will be pushed to the brink of being led by a skeptical Euro-skeptic in a NATO military alliance.

While Le Pen has abandoned past ambitions to pull France out of a “frexit” or eurozone single currency, he sees the EU only as an alliance of sovereign nations.

Conservative candidate Valerie Pecresse Macron warned of “catastrophic consequences” if he failed, while urging Socialist Anne Hidalgo supporters to vote for him “so that France does not fall into hatred.”

“Not even a vote for Le Pen!” He added the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who, according to estimates, came in third with 20% of the vote.

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But they all had very harsh words about Macron and the very unpopular policies of his first order and an abrasive style that pushed many voters away.

“Emmanuel Macron played with fire,” Beckress told supporters.

“Focus”

Zemmour acknowledged his differences with Le Pen, but said Macron was a bad choice.

A month ago, Macron appeared to be heading for a comfortable re-election, boosted in the polls by strong economic growth, fragmented opposition and the role of his politician in trying to avoid war in Ukraine in eastern Europe.

But he paid the price for his late entry into the campaign, during which time he avoided market marches in the province of France in support of a major rally outside Paris. The plan to get people to work long hours was also unpopular, helping Le Pen reduce the gap.

Le Pen, who was an outspoken admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin until his invasion of Ukraine, spent months touring cities and villages across France. He focused on the cost of living issues plaguing millions of people and vented his anger on the rulers.

“Marine Le Pen knows how to talk to people about their most pressing issues. He (Macron) needs to focus more on what’s happening in France over the next two weeks and take a diplomatic break,” said 23-year-old Adrian Theory. – Adult Macron supporter.

As the vote count improved, Mலlenchon’s score rose to 21.57% near Le Pen, while no one else was in the double digits, leading some supporters to briefly believe the change in the final line. The end seemed unattainable.

Report by Makini Brice, Richard Lough, Layli Foroudi, John Irish, Sybille de La Hamaide, Tassilo Hummel, Michel Rose, Leigh Thomas, Hedy Beloucif, Gus Trompiz in Paris, Juliette Jabkhiro in La Villetle, Mimosa Spencer in Sevres. ; Written by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Andrew Cowthorn, Mark Porter and Diane Croft

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