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Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will go head-to-head in just under two weeks' time
Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will go head-to-head in just under two weeks' time

Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen to fight for presidency

CENTRIST EMMANUEL Macron has gone through to the second round of the French election, where he will face far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Mr Macron, a former banker, is seen as a political newcomer – and ran without the backing of an established party.

After topping Sunday’s vote, he is now favourite to win the run-off on May 7.

It is the first time in six decades that neither of France’s main left-wing or right-wing parties has had a candidate in the second round.

Mr Macron won 23.8% of votes in the first round, while Ms Le Pen took 21.5%. The turnout was high, at almost 79%.

The nearest challengers, centre-right François Fillon and hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, fell behind with just over 19% each.

At 39, Mr Macron could become the youngest president France has ever had – and the first president in the Fifth Republic who does not belong to a major party.

He secured 8.4 million votes – more than any other candidate – in the first round.

Mr Macron was current President Francois Hollande’s economy minister but quit to create his own party, En Marche, which pushes a liberal, pro-EU agenda. BBC

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