Extreme right-wing candidate is set to face Macron for the French presidency

Voters will choose between their current president and Marine Le Pen in the last round (Photo: Getty / IP3)

France’s leading far-right politician will challenge the current leader Emmanuel Macron in the second round of presidential elections, according to first ballot.

The French system sees a number of candidates vying for two seats in a head-to-head final, with voters returning to the polls on April 24 to decide the winner.

Marine Le Pen, head of the National Rally Party, is expected to score about 23.6% of the votes in the first round for President Macron’s 28.5% according to projections by Ipsos-Sopra Steria.

The projections are based on votes cast in a sample of polling stations around the country, and are usually very accurate.

Le Pen has promised to ban all Muslim women from wearing veils in public and their EU policy has been described as ‘Frexit by stealth’, and promises to reduce France’s payments to Brussels and ignore EU laws that they do not like.

There is enough room for them to win if enough voters who favored the eliminated candidates in the first round choose them in the second round, or just stay home.

But French pundits see the projections broadly as a strong indicator that Macron will move forward and be re-elected.

The hard-left candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, came third with 20.1% of the vote in the first round, according to projections.

President Macron is favorite to win, though predictions remain tight (Photo: Getty)

He is followed in fourth place by another far-right candidate, Eric Zémmour, who is expected to score 7.0%.

The center’s two traditional parties both scored what is arguably their worst result from mainstream parties in decades.

Conservative candidate Valérie Pécresse received 4.8%, while Socialist Party candidate Anne Hidalgo received 2.0%.

Meanwhile, the candidate for the Greens, Yannick Jadot, scored 4.3%.

France’s hardline right in large demonstrations against Covid rules (Image: EPA)

Zémmour, a writer with no election experience, is believed to have a piece of the anti-immigration, anti-Islam vote of veteran politician Le Pen, by positioning himself as an outsider.

While his supporters are likely to support Mrs Le Pen, most of the other leading losing candidates have effectively supported Mr Macron.

Mrs Pécresse and Mr Jadot explicitly urged her supporters to vote for the current president, while Mr Mélenchon, who controls the loyalty of a large section of France’s left, told her: ‘We know for whom we will never will vote. Do not cast your vote for Madame Le Pen.

‘We should not cast a single vote for Madame Le Pen. I think this message has now been heard. ‘

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Extreme right-wing candidate is set to face Macron for the French presidency

Source link Extreme right-wing candidate is set to face Macron for the French presidency

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