The centrist is expected to comfortably win the second round
Early reports on the first round of the French presidential election suggest that the far-right Marine Le Pen and the pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron have qualified for the second round run-off.
Vote estimates put Macron on about 23.7 per cent and Le Pen on 22 per cent. Those figures are subject to change as more results are tallied. The one-time frontrunner François Fillon is believed to have garnered just under 20 per cent, as has the hard left Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
The Socialist Party of current president François Hollande seem to have suffered a disaster, as early estimates put their candidate Benoît Hamon on 6.5 per cent.
Progressives will breathe a sigh of relief based on today’s turnout, since it’s now extremely difficult to see a route to victory for Le Pen. Hypothetical polls based on this scenario have predicted a comfortable Macron victory.
Already, the Hamon has publicly endorsed Macron, highlighting the need to defeat the far right.
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J’appelle à battre le plus fortement possible le Front national en votant pour Emmanuel Macron, même s’il n’appartient pas à la gauche.
— Benoît Hamon (@benoithamon) April 23, 2017