Trump calls French presidential elections 'very interesting'

It set up a battle between Macron's optimistic vision of a tolerant France with open borders against Le Pen's darker, inward-looking platform calling for closed borders, tougher security, less immigration and dropping the shared euro currency to return to the franc.

Outgoing French President Francois Hollande has said the best message of this election would be "to show democracy is stronger than anything" by going out to vote.

Le Pen also blames free trade pacts for killing French jobs and wants to renegotiate them, which would cause a financial tangle for the rest of the European Union and France's trade partners.

It is the first time since the French presidential system was introduced in 1958 that neither major party of the centre-right or the socialist left will contest the second round of the election.

Some surveys have been predicting a turnout closer to the 70 percent that took the National Front's then-leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, into the second round in 2002.

Harris gave both conservative candidate Francois Fillon percent and far-left contender Jean-Luc Melenchon 20 percent, which would mean their elimination from the race.

While Le Pen faces the runoff as the underdog, it's already stunning that she brought her once-taboo party so close to the Elysee Palace.

She went on to launch an attack on the policies of Macron, whom she again described as "the money king" in a disparaging swipe at his investment banker background.

For Americans, Duhamel said it would have been the equivalent of Ross Perot beating then-incumbent U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton in the 1992 election.

"What I propose to you is a big alternative, the fundamental alternative that will put other faces in power".

"Le Pen did as expected".

"Either we continue to disintegrate without any borders, without any controls, unfair global competition, mass immigration and the free circulation of terrorists, or you choose France with borders". They burst into a rendition of the French national anthem, and waved French flags and blue flags with "Marine President" inscribed on them. "It's a political quake in this country and in Europe", veteran French journalist Christine Ockrent told CNN. Macron and Le Pen are now considered to be the two favorites in race.

Right-wing Americans are joining their far-right French compatriots in a social media campaign to swing Sunday's unprecedented presidential elections in favor of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Three people were arrested, according to police.

Crowds of young people, some from anarchist and "anti-fascist" groups, gathered on the Place de la Bastille in eastern Paris as results were coming in from the first round vote.

She took shots at the European Union and sitting President François Hollande during her speech, before concluding and leading her supporters in singing the French national anthem.

"Throughout the campaign, Macron insisted France was "contrarian" - ready to elect a pro-globalisation liberal at a time when rightwing nationalists are making gains around the world".

The killing of policeman Xavier Jugele by 39-year-old gunman Karim Cheurfi was the latest in a string of terror attacks in France since 2015 that have claimed more than 230 lives.

Last night, rival politicians, including Fillon, the nominee of the conservative Republican Party, began to rally around Macron to prevent Le Pen from taking the presidency.

The seven other candidates, including the ruling Socialist party's Benoit Hamon, lag far behind.

  • Leroy Wright