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France’s first round of elections makes Macron, Le Pen look for new allies

Emmanuel Macron garnered 27.6% of the vote on Sunday, while Marine Le Pen got 23.41%

PARIS, April 11. /TASS/. The first round of the French presidential elections on Sunday didn’t award a decisive advantage to any of the two key contestants. Incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and National Rally leader Marine Le Pen have essentially reproduced the state of play that existed in the first round of presidential elections five years ago.

Macron garnered 27.6% of the vote on Sunday, while Le Pen got 23.41%. Analysts and both camps agree that the results are uncertain. They roughly match the state of play after the first round in 2017 when Macron received 24.01% of the ballots and Le Pen 21.3%.

Macron’s bets

"Let’s not make any mistakes. Nothing has been won yet," the current head of state said in comments summing up the Sunday vote. He said he planned to lead a more intensive campaign for the runoff, which will happen two weeks later, than he did for the first round and was "ready to extend his hand to anyone who’s ready to work for France." He is going on a tour around four regions in the next few days to fight for provincial electorate.

Macron said he respected people that cast their ballots for Le Pen, but would "do everything during the next five years, so they have no reason to vote for the far right."

He said France "lives in an unsafe world" and emphasized his achievements in the domestic policy, such as helping employment to reach the highest rate in 15 years.

Le Pen’s Plan

"Those who didn’t vote for Macron should join me," Le Pen said. In her speech following the results of Sunday's voting, she promised, if elected in the second round, to become a "president for all the French" and "set things right" in the country over the next five years. In two weeks, she said, the French will face a fundamental choice between two opposing views on the future.

Le Pen emphasized the importance of French sovereignty in all areas, "so that the French can decide for themselves and protect their interests." She also intends to fight migration and restore security for all. The candidate pointed to the social and cultural divisions that are observed in the country, as well as differences in the access to medical care and digital technologies. She said she was willing to take into account the "widest possible" range of political preferences. According to her, this won’t be a choice forced by circumstances, but the choice of society and even civilization, and "its outcome will determine what place will be assigned to people in the conditions of the power of money."

Outlook by analysts

Experts are more cautious than ever in their forecasts this time. "The situation remains open," said Alain Duhamel, an analyst. Some analysts said France now doesn’t have a political alliance that resisted Le Pen at the regional and municipal level in 2017. But some of the candidates that dropped out of the race for the Elysee Palace after the first round called on their supporters to shun Le Pen.

"It’ll be hard for Le Pen to win," Beziers City Mayor Robert Menard, an ally of Le Pen, said. He said the National Rally leader has become "more open and more balanced in her views."

"I think she's better prepared now for the final discussion than she was five years ago," he said.

Le Pen admitted that in a televised debate with Macron before the second round five years ago she was "too aggressive" and that may have pushed away some potential supporters. She promised she wouldn’t repeat that mistake. Le Pen has never held an official government post.


The runoff election will take place on April 24, and campaigning will resume on April 15. The two candidates are scheduled to hold a televised debate on April 20. Every camp is seeking to win over the voters that for some reason skipped the first round altogether. The number of those who stayed out of the elections was the biggest in almost two decades as more than 25% of voters didn’t turn up on April 10.