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Marine Le Pen faces Emmanuel Macron in the French election on the eve of the election

Emmanuel Macron and far-right rival Marine Le Pen will face off in the second and final stages of the April 24 French presidential election after defeating other candidates in the first round of voting on April 24. Sunday, according to early estimates.

Macron won 28.6% and Le Pen 24.4% of the votes in the first round, ahead of far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 20.2%, according to Ifop-Fiducial’s predictions for broadcaster TF1 based on partial profits.

The results of Sunday’s vote show Le Pen, 53, is closer than ever to powering the far right in France and mimicking Donald Trump’s nationalist victories in the US. and Brexit supporters in the UK six years ago.

Eric Zemmour, the anti-immigration TV polemicist who quickly eclipsed Le Pen after entering the race last year, is projected to have won 6.8% of the vote in the first round – and most of his supporters have told pollsters they will support Le Pen in the second round.

Valérie Pécresse, the conservative candidate whose campaign failed after she won her party’s primary, is expected to receive just 4.6 percent of the vote in the first round. Yannick Jadot of the Greens was also awarded 4.6%, and Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris and Socialist candidate, 1.9%.

Le Pen is skeptical of the EU, has said she will withdraw from NATO’s military command structure and has previously been an admirer of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. If she wins two weeks from now, it will send shock waves across Europe and the world at a time when Russian forces are waging war on European soil in Ukraine.

Le Pen has also promised if she becomes president to introduce more protectionist economic policies to support French industry, crack down on Muslims and immigrants, and ban women from wearing it. veil in public on the grounds that it is “Islamic uniform”.

Battling his third presidential campaign, Le Pen has surged in opinion polls in recent weeks after focusing on working-class concerns about the cost of living. soaring at a time when the prices of gasoline, diesel and other commodities skyrocketed following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The liberal internationalist Macron – who was involved in tense NATO, G7 and EU negotiations on sanctions against Russia and in favor of Ukraine – joined the campaign late and lost his lead. early polls as he tried to convince voters that they needed to give him a second five-year term at the Elysée Palace.

He said Le Pen as president would be a danger to France, the EU and the Western union, and criticized her protectionist economic program as incoherent and unfunded.

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