French presidential elections exit-polls: Centrist Macron to face far-right leader Le Pen in May 7 runoff

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are set to race in a May 7 runoff for the French presidency after ranking first and second in Sunday’s first round of voting, exit-polls show.

Macron, a pro-European Union former banker and Economy minister, who set up his own party only one year ago, was given 24 per cent by the pollster Harris and 23.7 per cent by Elabe.

Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration and anti-EU National Front, was given22 per cent by both institutes.

Harris gave both conservative candidate Francois Fillon and far-left contender Jean-Luc Melenchon 20 per cent, meaning mean they drop out the race.

Ex-PM Fillon, facing corruption scandal during the electoral campaign, conceded defeat and said he was the only person responsible for the unsuccessful bid. The former prime minister had consistently been polling third in surveys leading up to the election.

If confirmed, the result of the first round will represent face-off between politicians with radically contrasting economic visions for a country whose economy has dropped from the fifth to the sixth position in the world and which faces harsh unemployment rated, as a quarter of youngsters are unemployed.

Regardless of the outcome on May 7, the result is also considered to redesign France’s political landscape, which has been dominated by mainstream groupings from the centre-left and centre-right for the past 60 years.

Centrist Emmanuel Macronexit pollsfar-right leader Marine Le PenFrancemay 7presidential electionsrunoff
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