Thousands of French Were Unable to Vote on Sunday

After rising nearly 23% following the election of President Donald Trump, the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund ETF has fallen 7.5% from its recent high as traders price in the possibility that Trump's plans to cut taxes and roll back regulations might take longer to enact than previously expected.

Part of that strategy would be to remind voters of Mr Macron's former role as a deal-maker in investment banking and economy minister under Mr Hollande.

Earlier the leaders of the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National party had all backed Macron, who topped the poll in the first round of the French election with 23.8%.

Political analysts say Macron's apparent win today showed that many French people still believe in a more liberal, open, global society even as populists have won big victories in the a year ago with the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's election in the United States.

Ms Le Pen will be keen to avoid a repetition of 2002 when her father and National Front founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, got through to the second round in a surprise vote but went on to lose in a humiliating landslide against right-wing president Jacques Chirac.

France's political mainstream, shut out of the presidency by an angry electorate, united on Monday to call on voters to back centrist Emmanuel Macron and reject Marine Le Pen's populist nationalism.

Choosing from inside the system is no longer an option, as voters rejected the two mainstream parties which have alternated power for decades in favour of Ms Le Pen and the untested Mr Macron, who has never held elected office and who founded his own political movement just past year.

Macron's rise - he topped the poll in yesterday's first round featuring eleven candidates - is an object lesson for Europe's centrist politicians in how to combat the populism of the right. He said: "All progressives and democrats across Europe will be wishing Emmanuel Macron well in his runoff contest against the forces of the far right".

The latest polls by Ipsos-Sopra Steria and Harris Interactive showed that Macron would win 62-64 percent against 36-38 percent for Le Pen if the runoff were held today.

"The voters who voted for Mr. Melenchon are angry voters".

"I think that the success - even if it's just the first round now - of Macron is also a good indication there are still very powerful forces in French society".

"I want to be the president of patriots against the threat of nationalists", Macron told a cheering crowd of supporters.

Turnout was 78%, down slightly from 79% in the first round of presidential voting in 2012.

Six officers and three demonstrators were injured during the protests at the Place de la Bastille.

Voters aged 18-24 came out in large numbers to support far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon (who won around 30% of the youth vote). Twenty-nine people were detained at the Bastille, where protesters waved red flags and sang "No Marine and No Macron!" in anger at the results.

  • Leroy Wright