France’s next leader: centrist Macron vs. far-right Le Pen

World Today

France's next leader: centrist Macron vs. far-right Le Pen Far-right leader and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, Marine Le Pen, cheers supporters on stage after exit poll results of the first round of the presidential election were announced at her election day headquarters in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, Sunday, April 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Partial official results from France’s first-round presidential election show far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron leading.

The two will advance to the May 7 runoff, after rivals conceded defeat.

CGTN’s Kate Parkinson reports.

France's next leader: centrist Macron vs. far-right Le Pen

Partial official results from France's first-round presidential election show far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron leading. The two will advance to the May 7 runoff, after rivals conceded defeat. CGTN's Kate Parkinson reports.

With 19.1 percent of the vote counted, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night that Le Pen was leading with 25 percent followed by Macron with 21.3 percent. The early vote count includes primarily rural constituencies that lean to the right, while urban areas that lean left are counted later.

Polling agency projections show Macron in the lead with between 23 and 24 percent, followed by Le Pen with between 21 and 23 percent.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has claimed victory in the first-round presidential race and says that her National Front party will represent “the great alternative” to the French people.

With a broad smile, Le Pen has stood before an adoring crowd and pledged to open a much-needed debate on globalization. Her speech ended with the French national anthem.

Le Pen has campaigned to leave the European Union, protect France’s borders, clamp down on immigration, and expel Islamic extremists.

Her success, along with that of centrist newcomer Emmanuel Macron, leaves the May 7 runoff without a mainstream political candidate for the first time in modern French history.

Story by The Associated Press.


Phillipe LeCorre discusses the 2017 French Presidential election

For more on the 2017 French Presidential Election, CGTN’s Wang Guan spoke to Phillipe LeCorre, Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution about Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen through to second round.