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Macron leads first round of French election, to face Le Pen in run-off

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French President Emmanuel Macron will face the far right’s Marine Le Pen in a presidential run-off on April 24 after leading the first round on Sunday with 28.5% of the vote to Le Pen's 23.6%, according to an Ipsos exit poll. Join FRANCE 24 right here for live coverage of the results as they roll in.

Macron was projected to win 28.5% of the vote, ahead of Le Pen (23.6%) and third-placed Jean-Luc Mélenchon (20.3%), according to projections by our partners Ipsos Sopra Steria.

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Some 48.7 million voters were called to the polls for Sunday’s first round. By 5pm, 65 percent of registered voters had cast a ballot, down 4.4 points on the previous election in 2017.

Twelve candidates, from the far left to the far right, were on the ballot for the first round. The two finalists will vie for France's top job in two weeks' time, on April 24.

Election finalist Marine Le Pen is calling on "all the French people of all sensibilities", "anyone who did not vote for" the incumbent centrist Emmanuel Macron, "left, right, and elsewhere", to "join (her) to set into motion the great change in power that France needs".

Sunday's results set another marker in the demise of the two parties that dominated French politics for decades. The conservatives' Valérie Pécresse is projected to win less than 5% of the vote, an astonishing 15-point drop from the 20% won by a scandal-plagued François Fillon in 2017. But even Pécresse's score looks good compared to the 2% Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo is credited with.

 

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