Current president of France and candidate of the party La République en Marche Emmanuel Macron, qualified for the second round of presidential elections with 28.1 percent of the vote. His opponent will be Rassemblement National candidate Marine Le Pen, who won 23.3 percent, according to first results from the Ipsos-Sopra Steria Agency.
Third place in the elections went to the radical left, La France Insoumise candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 20.3 percent of votes. The candidate of the Reconquête! party on the far right, Eric Zemmour, won 7 percent, and Les Républicains candidate Valérie Pécresse 4.80 percent.
According to the Ipsos-Sopra Steria projection, the other seven candidates won less than five percent of the vote, including the Greens Yannick Jadot and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.
These percentages of votes in the first round is close to the official result published by the Ministry of the Interior, but which are not complete and final.
In most places, the polls closed at 7 pm, while in larger cities, the French could vote until 8 pm. There was a large turnout, and by 5 pm 65% of adult citizens had cast their votes.
Voting for French citizens was also organized at the country’s embassy in Belgrade.
Immediately after the results were announced, most of the main candidates who did not pass to the second round called on people to vote for Macron in the next round, Reuters reports. Among the first to support Macron was Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
The current president will also be supported by Valérie Pécresse, while the third-placed Jean-Luc Mélenchon called on voters not to support Le Pen in the second round.
Eric Zemmour on the other hand said that in the second round Marine Le Pen has his support and called on his suporters to vote for her.
In her first address after the results were announced, Le Pen said that she would put France in order in five years, and called on all those who did not vote for Macron to support her in the second round, reports Le Figaro.
“The people of France have honoured me by qualifying me for the second round. I express my sincere gratitude to my voters. I see that there is increased hope among the forces that want this country’s recovery”, said Le Pen, adding that she would secure national independence, control immigration and “restore security for all”, emphasizing that if she wins, she will be the president of the entire French people.
A little later, Emanuel Macron addressed the public, thanking those who voted for him, saying that their trust is an obligation for him.
“You can count on me to carry through this project of progress, openness and independence for France, which we defended in our campaign”, said Macron, reports Figaro.
He also thanked the other candidates for their support and called on all citizens, including those who did not vote for him now, to stand by him in the second round and block the far right, Reuters reports.
He pointed out that nothing is over, and said that he is ready to reach out to everyone who wants to work for France.
“I am ready to invent something new in order to combine different beliefs and sensibilities, to build a great movement together”, said Macron.
He especially mentioned that the debate in the next two weeks will be decisive both for their country and for Europe, reports Figaro.
“I want a France that resolutely fights against Islamist separatism, but not a France that prevents Muslims and Jews from eating according to the rules of their religion. I want a France that is part of a strong Europe, not a France that leaves Europe with only international populists and xenophobes as allies”, Macron concluded.
The second round of the presidential elections will be held on 24 April. The Ipsos agency predicts that Macron will win 54 percent, and Le Pen 46 percent of votes.
Main photo: AP Photo/Francois Mori