France presidential election; Emmanuel Macron and Le Pen to fight for the post

The first round of the Presidential election in France took place on April 10 and as per the reports from the French news agencies, the incumbent Emmanual Macron won the round and far-right leader Marine Le Pen is fighting for the post with Macron. 

The projections showed that Macron won a convincing first-round victory, but opinion polls suggest the run-off could be much closer. Macron of LREM got 27.6% votes in a total vote count of 95,60,545 whereas Le Pen of the RN party got 23.4% votes in a total of 81,09,857 votes count. 

Emmanuel Macron who is seeking a second term, based on his “Statesman” role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, seemed like an escape for most of the campaign. If he wins, he will become the first president to do so in 20 years after Jack Chirac-the former president of France. 

Apart from Macron and Le Pen, Veteran far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon was polled even better than five years ago but he is unlikely to take the kingmaker’s role as per the latest report. 

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All the defeated candidates called on their voters to cast their ballots for Macron in the second round, with the exception of Mélenchon, who asked his voters “not to give a single vote to Mme Le Pen” but stopped short of endorsing the outgoing president, and Zemmour, who called on his supporters to back the far-right candidate.

The final round France presidential election duel between Macron and Le Pen is however set to be far tighter than the run-off between them in 2017 when the current president thrashed Le Pen with 66% of the vote. There is currently uncertainty with the election and doubts regarding who will win the seat. The polls predict that Macron will lead Le Pen to a handful of points in the first round, with the top two going to the second round of voting on April 24. 

Analysts fear that the 2002 record of the number of French voters boycotting the first round of 28.4 percent risks being beaten, with the 2017 absentee rate of 22.2 percent almost sure to be exceeded.