Macron vows to 'block off the far-Right' in French presidential battle with Le Pen

11 April 2022, 08:51 | Updated: 11 April 2022, 09:16

Macron will go head-to-head with far-right Le Pen for French presidency
Macron will go head-to-head with far-right Le Pen for French presidency. Picture: Getty

By StephenRigley

Emmanuel Macron pledged to 'block off the far-Right' as he geared up for a bruising head-to-head election fight with Marine Le Pen

On Sunday, the French president won the first round of the contest to choose his country's new head-of-state against 11 other candidates.

Mr Macron, the 44-year-old centrist, won 27.6 per cent per cent of the total first round vote. This compared to 23.4 per cent of the vote for Marine Le Pen, 53, who was runner-up.

The results mean that Mr Macron, sitting president and leader of the On The Move! (EM!) party, will go head-to-head against Ms Le Pen, of the National Rally (RN) on April 24. Early opinion polls suggest Macron will win a second term, by between four and 10 percentage points.

Read More: Emmanuel Macron will go head-to-head with Marine Le Pen in run-off for presidency

Addressing his supporters in Paris after the preliminary results were announced, President Macron said: "We have a rich democracy – one that is defended by everyone who fights for their values and their ideas.'I would now like to formally invite all our fellow citizens, no matter what they voted in the first round, to join our movement."

Mr Macron said many would rightly want to "block off the far-Right," adding: "Their level headedness and desire to block off the far Right's progress is commendable".

He added: "Let's not kid ourselves, nothing is certain, and the debates over the next two weeks, will be a deciding moment for our country and for Europe.'

In turn, Ms Le Pen portrayed the incumbent president as a globalist puppet who could not be trusted.'The French people have spoken, and do me the honour of qualifying to take on the outgoing president,' said Ms Le Pen.

The win for the former banker - now 44 - was seen as a victory against populist, nationalist politics, coming in the wake of Donald Trump's election to the White House and Britain's vote to leave the European Union, both in 2016.

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