Preliminary polls: Macron and Le Pen qualify for the second round of the French presidency

Preliminary polls: Macron and Le Pen qualify for the second round of the French presidency  Estimates showed that outgoing President Emmanuel Macron led the results of the first round of the French presidential elections on Sunday, with between 27.6 and 29.7 percent of the vote, and qualified for the second round with his far-right rival Marine Le Pen, who won 23.5 to 24.7% of the votes. pings.  According to estimates, the radical left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon came third with between 19.8 and 20.8 percent of the vote, while the far-right candidate Eric Zemmour received 6.8 percent of the vote.  French voters headed to the polls Sunday in the first round of the presidential election, in which far-right candidate Marine Le Pen poses an unexpected threat to President Emmanuel Macron's hopes of winning a new term.  Official sources said that the participation rate in the elections reached 65%, which is lower than it was in the 2017 elections, and the preliminary results of the poll are expected to be released around 18:00 GMT after the closing of the last polling stations.  Polling stations opened on Sunday morning at 8:00 (0600 GMT) in France for the start of the first round of the presidential elections, according to Reuters.  About 48.7 million voters were invited to vote to choose between 12 candidates, including outgoing President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who are considered the most likely to win, according to opinion polls.  Opinion polls published weeks ago suggested an easy win for Macron thanks to his active diplomacy on Ukraine and a strong economic recovery, as well as a divided opposition.  Macron's supporters have also blamed him for his focus on an unpopular plan to raise the retirement age, along with a sharp rise in inflation.  On the other hand, Le Pen, who belongs to the far-right, skeptical of the European Union and anti-immigration, toured France with a smile and confidence, amid chants of her supporters, "We will win, we will win."  Her position has been bolstered by a months-long focus on the cost of living and a dramatic drop in support for her far-right rival Eric Zemmour.  The second round of elections will be held on April 24.  "We are ready and the French are with us," Le Pen said at a rally on Thursday, to cheers from her supporters, and called for a vote for her in order to deliver "the just punishment that those who have judged us badly deserve."  The 44-year-old Macron, in power since 2017, spent the final days of the election campaign trying to make clear that Le Pen's platform had not changed despite efforts to soften her image and that of her National Rally party.  "Her basic positions have not changed: she is pursuing a racist program aimed at dividing society and it is very cruel," he told Le Parisien newspaper.  Le Pen rejects allegations of racism and says her policies will benefit all French people, regardless of their origin.  Assuming Macron and Le Pen go into a run-off, the French president has a problem: Unlike in 2017, many left-wing voters told pollsters that they would not vote for Macron in the run-off just to remove Le Pen from power.  Macron will have to persuade them to change their position and vote for him in the second round, while he agrees with his opponent that all possibilities are available with regard to the results.

Estimates showed that outgoing President Emmanuel Macron led the results of the first round of the French presidential elections on Sunday, with between 27.6 and 29.7 percent of the vote, and qualified for the second round with his far-right rival Marine Le Pen, who won 23.5 to 24.7% of the votes. pings.

According to estimates, the radical left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon came third with between 19.8 and 20.8 percent of the vote, while the far-right candidate Eric Zemmour received 6.8 percent of the vote.

French voters headed to the polls Sunday in the first round of the presidential election, in which far-right candidate Marine Le Pen poses an unexpected threat to President Emmanuel Macron's hopes of winning a new term.

Official sources said that the participation rate in the elections reached 65%, which is lower than it was in the 2017 elections, and the preliminary results of the poll are expected to be released around 18:00 GMT after the closing of the last polling stations.

Polling stations opened on Sunday morning at 8:00 (0600 GMT) in France for the start of the first round of the presidential elections, according to Reuters.

About 48.7 million voters were invited to vote to choose between 12 candidates, including outgoing President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who are considered the most likely to win, according to opinion polls.

Opinion polls published weeks ago suggested an easy win for Macron thanks to his active diplomacy on Ukraine and a strong economic recovery, as well as a divided opposition.

Macron's supporters have also blamed him for his focus on an unpopular plan to raise the retirement age, along with a sharp rise in inflation.

On the other hand, Le Pen, who belongs to the far-right, skeptical of the European Union and anti-immigration, toured France with a smile and confidence, amid chants of her supporters, "We will win, we will win."

Her position has been bolstered by a months-long focus on the cost of living and a dramatic drop in support for her far-right rival Eric Zemmour.

The second round of elections will be held on April 24.

"We are ready and the French are with us," Le Pen said at a rally on Thursday, to cheers from her supporters, and called for a vote for her in order to deliver "the just punishment that those who have judged us badly deserve."

The 44-year-old Macron, in power since 2017, spent the final days of the election campaign trying to make clear that Le Pen's platform had not changed despite efforts to soften her image and that of her National Rally party.

"Her basic positions have not changed: she is pursuing a racist program aimed at dividing society and it is very cruel," he told Le Parisien newspaper.

Le Pen rejects allegations of racism and says her policies will benefit all French people, regardless of their origin.

Assuming Macron and Le Pen go into a run-off, the French president has a problem: Unlike in 2017, many left-wing voters told pollsters that they would not vote for Macron in the run-off just to remove Le Pen from power.

Macron will have to persuade them to change their position and vote for him in the second round, while he agrees with his opponent that all possibilities are available with regard to the results.
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