Macron and Le Pen to face-off in race for French presidency
he first round of voting took place in France yesterday to elect the successor to François Hollande. As expected, the independent Emmanuel Macron, who has never held elected office, finished in first place with Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National party in second place, with 23.8% and 21.5% respectively. Centre-right François Fillon and hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, fell behind with just over 19% each.
It is the first time in decades that neither of France's main parties has had a candidate in the second round.
Should Mr Macron win the run-off, which is widely predicted by most polls, he will, at 39 years old, be France’s youngest ever president. He claims to be neither on the left or right of the political spectrum and is pro-EU. He aims to invest heavily on job-training, renewable energy, infrastructure and modernisation.
Ms Le Pen, meanwhile, is anti-EU and anti-immigration. If elected, she has promised to negotiate with Brussels on a ‘new-EU’ followed by a referendum. She has also pledged to bring down the retirement age to 60.
The second round will take place on May 7th.