Emmanuel Macron won 27.85 percent of votes in the first round of France’s presidential election, while far-right veteran Marine Le Pen scored 23.15 percent, according to final results from the interior ministry on Monday.
The results allow both to advance to a run-off, while far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon came in third at 21.95 percent, knocking him out of the first round but still a higher score than many polls had predicted.
Analysts say his electorate will be key for determining how Macron and e Pen will fare in the second round on April 24.
Among the nine other candidates only one scored above five percent, the upstart far-right media pundit Eric Zemmour, who obtained 7.07 percent and has called on his voters to support Le Pen. Next was Valerie Pecresse of the conservative Republicans at 4.78 percent, below the five percent threshold for having campaign spending largely reimbursed by the state.—AFP