Le Pen thrives among French poor, vote analysis shows

Marine Le Pen: France presidential election hopeful says she is 'temporarily stepping down' as National Front leader

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen have advanced to the second round of the French presidential election.

At a French cultural centre in Montreal, both applause and boos rang out as a French TV station announced its projections just after the vote closed at 2 p.m.

Florian Philippot from Le Pen's National Front poked fun at Hollande's comments, asking if he would attend the restaurant La Rotonde with Macron to celebrate their alliance. Macron rejects political branding: "Honesty compels me to say that I am not a socialist", he has said, despite having served in a Socialist Party government.

Le Pen, best described as a national socialist, would like to take France out of global institutions, including both the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation; block borders; curtail trade; and impose quasi-Marxist state-dominated economics. The contest in France between anti-globalist Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, whom major media have agreed to classify as a "centrist" (which makes him part of the radical middle?), has yielded yet another linguistic head-scratcher.

Others in Ms Le Pen's campaign took aim on Monday at what they see as further weak spots: Mr Macron's previous job as an investment banker and his role as a deregulating economy minister under Mr Hollande.


Francois Brutley, who moved to Montreal a week ago, said he was happy to see Fillon excluded after his campaign was hit by a number of embarrassing scandals.

Support for Macron also poured in Monday from the seat of the European Union, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jewish and Muslim groups troubled by Le Pen's nationalist vision. There is a part of the old left, including those who voted for the Trotskyist, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who sympathise with her objections to trade, bankers and worldwide business; there is a part of the old right, including those who voted for François Fillon, who prefer her ostentatious endorsement of "traditional values".

According to the French Interior Ministry, Macron won by a slight advantage in the first round, having got 24.01 percent of the votes, while Le Pen got 21.30 percent. Many commentators expect the same fate for his daughter, but she has already drawn far more support than he ever did and she has transformed the party's once-pariah image. And they fear pollsters will fail to capture a quiet constituency willing to vote for Le Pen in the privacy of the voting booth.

German lawmakers across the board have welcomed the victory of pro-Europe candidate Emmanuel Macron in the first round of France's presidential election on Sunday, calling it a win against nationalism and populism. "The center is stronger than the populists think!"

A wounded protester on the ground during a demonstration by anti-fascists in Paris following the results of the first round. Twenty-nine people were detained at the Bastille, where protesters waved red flags and sang "No Marine and No Macron!"

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