Emmanuel Macron has won the first round of the French presidential election, and his far-right competitor Marine Le Pen will run against him for a second time.
“Make no mistake, nothing is decided,” he told the applauding crowd.
In the end, he scored a clear first-round win, but surveys indicate that the run-off may be considerably tighter. Ms. Le Pen urged all non-Macron voters to join her in “putting France back in order.”
With 97 percent of the votes counted, Emmanuel Macron received 27.6 percent of the vote, Marine Le Pen received 23.41 percent, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon received 21.95 percent.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the veteran far-left contender, polled much higher than five years ago and now has the unexpected position of kingmaker.
“You must not vote for Marine Le Pen,” he urged his followers, but, unlike other contenders, he did not endorse the president instead. Later that evening, Mélenchon supporters gathered outside his campaign headquarters, believing he would finish in second place, but it was not to be.
Mélenchon voters, who account for more than a fifth of the vote, have the potential to decide the final round of this election, but many of them may just sit out the second round and abstain.
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