French polls closed this Sunday as the first round of the presidential election came to an end, Marine le Pen and Emmanuel Marcon were projected by news agencies to be the winners initially based on exit polling, and it is now confirmed. France rejected candidates from the two main political parties, pitting Marine le Pen up against a young candidate with no electoral experience in Emmanuel Marcon.
From The Daily Mail:
The race is seen as a litmus test for the spread of populism and could help determine Europe’s future.
The two candidates who secure the most votes in Sunday’s first round will contest a May 7 head-to-head run-off ballot.
If Ms Le Pen and Mr Macron’s leads hold, it would be the first time in modern French history that no major party candidate has advanced to the final vote
Celebrating his victory, Macron said: ‘The French have expressed their desire for change.
‘We’re clearly turning a page in French political history.’
The rise of populism has coincided with an increase in violent terrorist attacks in Paris over the past two years. le Pen is the anti-European Union candidate, while her upcoming opponent Marcon, is pro-European Union. A le Pen win can spark talks of a “Frexit” movement much like the Brexit movement we saw in Britain in the summer of 2016.