Macron and Le Pen to face-off for French presidency

Emmanuel Macron has won the first round of the French election and far-right rival Marine Le Pen will fight him for the presidency for a second time.

“Make no mistake, nothing is decided,” he told cheering supporters.

In the end, he won a convincing first-round victory, but opinion polls suggest the run-off could be much closer.

Le Pen called on every non-Macron voter to join her and “put France back in order”.

With 97 per cent of results counted, Emmanuel Macron had 27.6 per cent of the vote, Marine Le Pen 23.41 per cent and Jean-Luc Mélenchon 21.95 per cent.

Veteran far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon polled even better than five years ago and now has the unlikely role of kingmaker.

“You must not give a single vote to Marine Le Pen,” he warned his supporters, but unlike other candidates, he pointedly did not back the president instead. Later in the evening, Mélenchon activists gathered outside his campaign HQ thinking he might even come second, but it was not to be.

Making up more than a fifth of the vote, Mélenchon voters could decide the final round of this election, yet many of them may just sit the second round out and abstain. (BBC)

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