Paris mosque urges Muslims to follow 'path of hope' by voting Macron

Emmanuel Macron has managed to win in the first round of the French presidential election with the help of a sports slogan, En Marche! The National Front leader conflated Muslim identity with immigrant status, adding: "There's something I just don't understand: The people who come to France, why would they want to change France, to live in France the same way they lived back home?".

"After Brexit last summer and the US presidential election in the fall, I think markets have become a little more accustomed to bracing ahead of big elections, given the potential for a surprise outcome", said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

Ms Le Pen has said in the past that she is not a candidate of her party, and made that point when she rolled out her platform in February, saying the measures she was espousing were not her party's, but her own.

A Le Pen-Mélenchon runoff, then, would have been a potential economic catastrophe in the making (and we haven't even talked about Mélenchon's proposed 100 percent tax on monthly earnings over $35,000).

Mr Macron came in first in Sunday's vote, with just over 23 per cent; Marine Le Pen had 21 per cent; Mr Melenchon and Mr Fillon each had 19 per cent. Mr Fillon, a former prime minister, bested the former Trotskyist Mr Melenchon by just 94,998 votes.

Ms Le Pen took over the FN leadership from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in January 2011.

More than 10 million electors didn't vote at all, surpassing the 8.5 million who voted for Mr. Macron and the 7.7 million for Ms. Le Pen.

The other seven candidates were far behind. "I am the presidential candidate", she said on French television.

While liberal, democratic voices are taking solace in the fact that the anti-European Union and anti-migrant Le Pen did worse than predicted by opinion polls, Sunday's election does throw up some hard questions for centre and centre-right politics in France as well as Europe as a whole.

As both sides looked to court support now from their defeated rivals for the crucial May vote, Le Pen's camp took aim at what they see as Macron's weak spots - his privileged banker background and his role as economy minister in a discredited Socialist government of outgoing President Francois Hollande.

A Greek official said Tsipras and Macron had an amicable discussion in which Macron noted his previous support for Athens in tough bailout talks with European Union powers.

She has said she embodies "the great alternative" for French voters.

So over the years, pollsters devised a solution: they would also ask voters who they voted for last time, and correct the discrepancy in support between the proportion who had backed the party before and the proportion who said they would this time. "Macron in the Elysee (palace) is already a revolution, Le Pen won't win now, and neither will she in 2022". The 48-year-old Le Pen has denounced what she calls "Islamic fundamentalism", though she's spoken out against Muslim identity in general, too.

At a peaceful protest by about 300 people at the Place de la République, some sang, "No Marine and no Macron!", and, "Now burn your voting cards".

  • Leroy Wright