The crowd here would have preferred the exit poll to show Macron and Fillon to go through, but they’ll take Macron versus Le Pen, especially with Macron in the lead. “Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France”.
French centrist Emmanuel Macron faces an unprecedented challenge in his quest for the French presidency: A newcomer to politics, he was virtually unknown to most of his countrymen just three years ago.
A Paris police official said no injuries were reported in scuffles between protesters and police at the Place de la Bastille.
Sunday’s first round contest was held under tight security after a terror attack in Paris Thursday night disrupted the final day of campaigning Friday.
The euro surged in early trading in Asia on Sunday, while French bond yields were expected to fall and French stocks to rally on Monday morning, on relief that France had not been left with a choice between two radical, anti-EU presidential candidates.
Macron was the country’s economy minister up until he quit in 2016 – the same year he formed the En Marche! party.
Le Pen, the 48-year-old leader of the anti-immigration National Front (FN), hopes to capitalise on security fears that were catapulted to the fore of the campaign after the fatal shooting on Thursday of a policeman on Paris’s Champs Elysees avenue claimed by the ISIS terrorists group.
“Macron would pursue a centrist approach, working closely with Germany to reform the Eurozone and the EU”, Brattberg said. But it’s fair to say her and her friends are pleased about the initial expectations that Macron will win.
Analysts have said that Le Pen being elected would pose an existential threat to the European Union — the bloc of European democratic states that grouped together after World War II with the aim of preventing future strife.
But Le Pen supporters were equally enthusiastic.
Marine Le Pen celebrated the result with her supporters in Henin-Beaumont, promising to ‘liberate the French people’.
European equities are still priced for a slight valuation premium linked to acceleration in global growth momentum and are not reflecting an “obvious political risk discount”, Deutsche Bank AG strategists, including Sebastian Raedler, wrote in a note.
But even a loss for Ms Le Pen will be seen as a win.
Amid chatter about foreign propaganda and so-called “fake news” possibly affecting the vote, French authorities seem to be keeping a close eye on potential violations of the law. At a peaceful protest by around 300 people at the Place de la Republique some sang “No Marine and no Macron!” and “Now burn your voting cards”. But previous militant attacks, such as the November 2015 killing of 130 people in Paris ahead of regional polls, did not appear to boost the votes of those espousing tougher national security policies.
Macron emerged with around 24% of the votes, with Le Pen trailing at around 22%.
“The survival of France”, was at stake in the second-round vote, she said.
Turnout is usually high in French elections, but some voters have said they will abstain because they have lost faith in mainstream politicians.
But for many Fillon supporters, Le Pen’s call for an nearly total ban on immigration is unrealistic, and her economic views echo left-wing calls for bigger public pensions, protection of the bloated civil service, and more government spending on a variety of programs.
Benoit Hamon of the Socialist Party, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan of Debout la France, Nathalie Arthaud of Lutte Ouvriere, Philippe Poutou of the New Anticapitalist Party, Jacques Cheminade of Solidarity and Progress, Jean Lassalle of Resistons!, and Francois Asselineau of the Popular Republican Union also initially vied for moving into Elysee Palace.
He’s also receiving support from leaders outside his country.
France is entering the final stages of a nail-biting general election as voting stations close and counting of votes begins. Before being shot and killed by police, Cheurfi killed one officer, who he hit twice in the head, and wounded two others.