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Via BBC

Macron Wins First Round of French Presidential Poll

Emmanuel Macron has won the first round of the French election and far-right rival marine le pen will fight him for the presidency for a second time.

In the end, he won a convincing first round victory, but opinion polls suggest the run-off could be much closer.

With 97% of results counted, Emmanuel Macron had 27.6% of the vote, Marine Le Pen 23.41% and Jean-Luc Mélenchon 21.95%.

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Veteran far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon polled even better than five years ago and now has the unlikely role of kingmaker.

Making up more than a fifth of the vote, Mélenchon voters could decide the final round of this election, yet many of them may just sit the second round out and abstain.

Twelve candidates were in the running, but these were the only three who polled more than 10%.

Several of the nine had little chance anyway, but the 2022 presidential election will be partly remembered for the disaster that befell the two old parties that used to run France, the republicans and socialists.

They sank almost without trace, with socialist Anne Hidalgo falling below 2%.

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