Paris, France. French voters narrowed the field of Presidential candidates to two. Now both groups go in search of voters that think for feel alike for the final election.
French mainstream parties were shut out of the presidency by an angry electorate after the first round, which narrowed the presidential field from 11 to Le Pen or Macron in yesterday’s first of two rounds .
France’s election 2017 is widely seen as a litmus test for the populist wave which last year prompted the UK to vote to leave the European Union and led to Donald Trump being elected US president.
The failed far left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, pointedly refused to back Mr Macron, and Ms Le Pen’s National Front is hoping to do the once impossible and gain the support of voters historically opposed to a party long tainted by the western media’s prejudices.
National Front vice president Steeve Brios said: “The voters who voted for Mr Melenchon are angry voters. They can be in agreement with us.”
He said that these voters can express a choice that gives France a future free of the European Union.
Choosing from inside the system is no longer an option, as voters rejected the two mainstream parties which have alternated power for decades in favour of Ms Le Pen and the untested Mr Macron, who has never held elected office and who married his high school teacher.
Turnout was 78%, down slightly from 79% in the first round of presidential voting in 2012.
French socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, whose party holds a majority in the legislature, received only 6% of the vote. Socialist president Francois Hollande, the most unpopular in modern France, did not seek re-election.