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French election results visualised: Everything you need to know in maps and charts

Incumbent president Emmanuel Macron emerged victorious in the first round of voting in the French election, but his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, was hot on his tail. The two will now face off in the final battle for the presidency in a runoff, which is due to be held on April 24. 

With 97 percent of votes counted on Monday morning, Mr Macron had a 27.6 percent share, followed by Ms Le Pen with 23.41 percent. 

Far-left candidate Jean-Lu Mélenchon emerged as an unexpected competitor after a sudden last-minute surge in the polls, pulling in 21.95 percent of the vote. 

All three candidates had strong words for their supporters. 

Mr Macron said: “Make no mistake, nothing is decided,” as he urged supporters not to fall complacent and risk poor turnout on April 24. 

Ms Le Pen called on every non-Macron voter to join her and “put France back in order”.

While Mr Mélenchon, finding himself in the unlikely position of kingmaker, said: “You must not give a single vote to Marine Le Pen.”

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However, he didn’t explicitly throw support behind Mr Macron, and it is believed that many Mélenchon supporters might abstain from the final vote. 

In total, twelve candidates were in the running, but no one else polled more than 10 percent of the final vote. 

Many voters appeared to embrace the idea of tactical voting, deciding that the other nine candidates had no hope of making the run-off.

Things were particularly bleak for Eric Zemmour, once tipped to be the most likely candidate to face Mr Macron in a runoff, who scored just seven percent. 

Despite vitriolic fighting throughout the campaign, he was quick to endorse Ms Le Pen after his defeat. 

He said: “I have disagreements with Marine Le Pen, but there is a man facing Marine Le Pen who has let in two million immigrants…who would therefore do worse if he were re-elected – it is for this reason that I call on my voters to vote for Marine Le Pen.”

The results also showed just how much France’s political landscape has changed. 

Former ruling parties – the Socialist party and conservative Les Républicains – now barely pull in any support at all. 

The Socialists’ Anne Hidalgo gathered less than two percent of the vote, and the Republicans’ Valérie Pécresse could not even scrape the five percent needed to claim election costs.

Now, campaigning for the run-off will begin. 

After barely bothering to campaign at all ahead of the first round, Mr Macron’s team is now believed to be planning a series of big rallies and major TV appearances.

Mr Macron, who has been criticised for not putting the cost of living at the centre of his campaign, said he would “do everything” to convince voters that he had the solution to high prices.

Aides of the incumbent said the outcome of the election would depend on the 50 percent or so of voters who did not back Mr Macron or Ms Le Pen.

Mr Macron urged his supporters not to vote for his rival, denouncing her as a member of the “extreme right”, saying she would leave France with only populist-led countries for allies. 

The latest polling shows that Mr Macron is on course to win the presidency once more, but it will certainly be tight. 

A poll by the Ifop institute for TF1, a French television channel, said Mr Macron was on course to win by the slimmest of margins — 51 percent to 49 percent.

The gap was within the margin of error, meaning there will be everything to play for in a fortnight’s time.



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