Apr 10, 2022 - World

Macron, Le Pen head to 2nd round of French election, first projections show

This combination of pictures created on May 7, 2017 shows French presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen
Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen exit voting booths in 2017. Photos: Eric Feferberg and Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

Initial results from the first round of France’s presidential election Sunday indicate that French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen have emerged as the top two winners from a field of 12 candidates, garnering a projected 28.1% and 23.3% of the vote, respectively.

Why it matters: Though largely expected, the results mean Macron and Le Pen will both advance to the final runoff on April 24, in a rematch of the 2017 presidential election.

The big picture: While Macron for months looked like a sure bet to become France’s first president to win a second term in 20 years, Le Pen’s last-minute surge in the polls threatened to upend expectations.

Between the lines: The center-left Socialists and center-right Republicans combined for 7.1%. French politics really are down to Macron and the extremes, writes Axios' Dave Lawler.

State of play: Turnout at 5pm in France was estimated at 65%, compared to 69.4% in 2017, according to a statement from the Ministry of Interior.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that a Macron win would make him the first president to win a second term in 20 years (not that he would be the first French president to win a second term).

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