Emmanuel Macron vows to 'block off far-Right' in Marine Le Pen battle

Emmanuel Macron pledges to ‘block off the far-Right’ when he goes head-to-head against Marine Le Pen after securing just 4% more of the French election first-round votes

  • Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the contest with 27.6% of the vote
  • Marine Le Pen, 53, finished as runner-up with 23.4% in the first round
  • The two will go head to head in the final round of voting on April 24 

Emmanuel Macron has today pledged to ‘block off the far-Right’ as he prepared for another head-to-head election battle with Marine Le Pen.

On Sunday, the French president won the first round of the contest to choose his country’s new head-of-state against 11 other candidates.

Mr Macron, the 44-year-old centrist, won 27.6 per cent per cent of the total first round vote. 

Emmanuel Macron has today pledged to ‘block off the far-Right’ as he prepared for another head-to-head election battle with Marine Le Pen

This compared to 23.4 per cent of the vote for Marine Le Pen, 53, who was runner-up.

The results mean that Mr Macron, sitting president and leader of the On The Move! (EM!) party, will go head-to-head against Ms Le Pen, of the National Rally (RN) on April 24.

Early opinion polls suggest Macron will win a second term, by between four and 10 percentage points.

The Le Pen-Macron head-to-head is a repeat of the 2017 presidential election, when the first-round results were 24.01 per cent for Mr Macron, and 21.03 per cent for Ms Le Pen.

Mr Macron then went on to beat Ms Le Pen with a resounding 66 per cent in the second round five years ago.

Today, defeated candidates, including Valerie Pecresse of the conservative Republicans, and Anne Hidalgo, of the Socialists, immediately told their voters to back Mr Macron.

Mr Macron, sitting president and leader of the On The Move! (EM!) party, will go head-to-head against Ms Le Pen, of the National Rally (RN) on April 24.

It is common for the French to unite in a so-called ‘Republican Front’ when an extremist candidate reaches the second round.

Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon came close to pipping Ms Le Pen on Sunday, with 22.2 per cent of the vote – just 1.2 per cent behind Ms Le Pen.

Mr Melenchon has also told his supporters to vote against Ms Le Pen in the next round.

Addressing his supporters in Paris after the preliminary results were announced, President Macron said: ‘We have a rich democracy – one that is defended by everyone who fights for their values and their ideas.

‘I would now like to formally invite all our fellow citizens, no matter what they voted in the first round, to join our movement.’

Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon came close to pipping Ms Le Pen on Sunday, with 22.2 per cent of the vote – just 1.2 per cent behind Ms Le Pen

Mr Macron said many would rightly want to ‘block off the far-Right,’ adding: ‘Their level headedness and desire to block off the far Right’s progress is commendable’.

He added: ‘Let’s not kid ourselves, nothing is certain, and the debates over the next two weeks, will be a deciding moment for our country and for Europe.’

In turn, Ms Le Pen immediately projected the upcoming head-to-head confrontation with Mr Macron as a ‘choice between civilisations’, saying she would become ‘the President of all the French people’.

Speaking to her own supporters in the French capital on Sunday night, she portrayed the incumbent president as a globalist puppet who could not be trusted.

‘The French people have spoken, and do me the honour of qualifying to take on the outgoing president,’ said Ms Le Pen.

‘On April 24 it will be a fundamental choice between two opposing visions of the country – either division and disorder, or the rallying of French people around social justice guaranteed by a fraternal framework.’

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