European Union responds to first round of French election votes

Marine Le Pen beat the National Front party's previous election record on Sunday but failed to pip Mr. Macron to the first place.

Le Pen brought the anti-establishment FN party into the country's political mainstream on Sunday's first round to elect new president for the next five years.

As the leader of the far-right National Front party, 48-year-old Le Pen promotes nationalistic and isolationist policies (sound familiar?).

On Monday, François Fillon, who placed third in the April 23 first round with 20.01 percent of the vote and so will not be a contender in the May 7 second round, said he will not seek to be the leader of his party.

Should Le Pen secure a presidential win and follow through on her proposal to leave the European Union, it could be Brexit all over again, only this time the French will get to decide how to deal with the mess of abandoning the euro.

The first was that advance polling and many prognosticators said that Ms. Le Pen would finish first and Mr. Macron second among the 11 candidates. "I am the candidate for the French presidency", she said.

While the Républicains' official line is "not to vote Le Pen", Christian Estrosi, head of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, where the FN is very strong, said any members failing to clearly call for a Macron vote should be "excluded". But more voters chose Mr. Macron, who argued for calm in the wake of the attack, than the fiercely anti-immigration Ms. Le Pen.

Turnout was 77.77%, the lowest in a French presidential election for 15 years. Given that her support has gradually eroded during the campaign, there were expectations that it would be hard to regain momentum.

He still supports her candidacy in the presidential runoff.

Senior market analyst at ETX Capital, Neil Wilson, said: "While markets may overall take this result as net positive, we have in the final round two candidates with no experience and no real say over the deputies".

You have people who voted for Nicolas Dupont-Aignan who is a sovereignist candidate that will presumably vote for Ms. Le Pen.

"I think her campaign was too laid-back". The oligarchy has already installed Emmanuel Macron in the president's seat.

Pollsters predict the former economy minister will defeat his eurosceptic rival in the May 7 run-off. "They can be in agreement with us", National Front Vice-President Steeve Brios told The Associated Press.

The comments are the latest in a tussle between the two over the future direction of the far-right party since Marine Le Pen moved to clean up its image and rid it of xenophobic and anti-Semitic associations.

  • Leroy Wright