French leader Emmanuel Macron to face Marine Le Pen in runoff for presidential election on April 24

French leader Emmanuel Macron and challenger Marine Le Pen have qualified for a very tightly fought presidential election runoff on April 24. With partial results putting Macron in first place ahead of Le Pen after the first-round voting, other major candidates admitted defeat.

Macron told supporters that nothing is decided, and the battle they will wage in the next 15 days will be decisive for France and Europe. He urged all voters to rally behind him on April 24th to stop Ms Le Pen from ruling the European Union’s second-largest economy.

Ifop pollsters predicted a very tight runoff, with 51% for Macron and 49% for Le Pen. The gap is so tight that victory either way is within the margin of error. Other pollsters offered a slightly bigger margin in favour of Macron, with up to 54%. But that was in any case much narrower than in 2017, when Macron beat Le Pen with 66.1% of the votes.

With 88% of the votes counted for first-round yesterday, Macron garnered 27.41% of the votes and Le Pen 24.9%.

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