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Results of Election Are a First in Modern French History

Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen will battle it out on May 7
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2017 1:30 PM CDT
Updated Apr 23, 2017 2:05 PM CDT
Polls Close in France, and 2 Leaders 'Seem Clear'
Far-right leader and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election Marine Le Pen exits a polling booth before voting for the first-round of the presidential election in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, Sunday, April 23, 2017.    (Frank Augstein)

(Newser) – The polls closed at 7pm local time, meaning the first round of the French presidential election is officially in the books. While the official percentages are not yet known, the AP reports centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen will advance to the runoff after major opponent Francois Fillon conceded. The Guardian reports polling agency projections had put Macron and Le Pen in the one and two slots, with roughly 23.7% and 22% of the vote, respectively, though those numbers could change. Of the four candidates who had a shot (11 were angling for the post), "French Bernie Sanders" Jean-Luc Melenchon and establishment candidate Fillon trailed at just below 20%, per those projections.

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In conceding defeat, Fillon loudly threw his support behind Macron, saying, "There is no other choice than to vote against the far right. I will vote for Emmanuel Macron. I consider it my duty to tell you this frankly." The results set up a duel between a young candidate with no electoral experience and the woman who remade the image of a party tainted by racism and anti-Semitism. It marks the first time in modern French history that no major-party candidate has advanced. The runoff is scheduled for May 7. (Macron and Le Pen have family histories that have made their way into the race.)

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