World

Macron set to face off against Le Pen in French presidential election

Emmanuel Macron will face National Rally President Marine Le Pen in a winner-takes-all runoff for the French presidency, after they both advanced Sunday in the first round of voting in the country’s election.

Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon came third in the field of 12 with roughly 20% of the vote.

Initial polling projections showed Macron with just over 28 percent of the vote and Le Pen with slightly over 24 percent on Sunday, according to The New York Times. Le Pen’s numbers saw a late surge, possibly indicating voter dissatisfaction with inflation and security-related concerns. 

Two weeks away from the runoff election, Macron urged French voters “to unite against the far right.”

“The debate that we are going to have over the next fortnight will be decisive for our country and Europe,” he said in a speech on Sunday to his supporters broadcast by France 24.

Le Pen plans to target voters by promising “social justice” and fixes for “a France torn apart.”

“The French people honored me by qualifying me for the second round,” Le Pen said. Her supporters celebrated with champagne and interrupted her speech with chants of “We’re going to win!”

The cost of living increases along with the Russia-Ukraine war had been front and center ahead of the first-round vote.

Some of Le Pen’s defeated rivals were so alarmed by the possibility of Le Pen beating Macron that they urged their supporters Sunday to shift their second-round votes to the incumbent. Melenchon, addressing supporters who sometimes shed tears, repeatedly said: “We must not give one vote to Mrs. Le Pen.”

Describing herself as “profoundly worried,” defeated conservative candidate Valerie Pecresse warned of “the chaos that would ensue” if Le Pen was elected, saying the far-right leader has never been so close to power. Pecresse said she would vote for Macron in the runoff.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WBUR.ORG

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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