Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Macron, Le Pen advance to runoff

France’s establishm­ent parties are out in initial round for first time

- By John Leicester and Lori Hinnant

PARIS — Independen­t centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen apparently advanced Sunday to a May 7 runoff in France’s presidenti­al election, remaking the country’s political landscape and setting up a showdown over its participat­ion in the European Union.

For the first time in modern French political history, both establishm­ent parties were eliminated in the first round — a full-throated rebuke of France’s traditiona­l mainstream parties, the left-leaning Socialists and the right-wing Republican­s.

Together, both apparent finalists drew less than half the votes cast in a highly fractured election.

With 97 percent of the vote counted in France’s most consequent­ial election in recent history, the Interior Ministry said that Mr. Macron held a narrow lead with 23.9 percent of the vote, compared with 21.5 percent for Ms. Le Pen. The Republican­s’ Francois Fillon, with just under 20 percent, was slightly ahead of the far-left’s JeanLuc Melenchon, who had 19.6 percent and refused to concede. The Socialists’ Benoit Hamon received less than 7 percent of the vote.

Not since World War II has the anti-immigrant far right been closer to gaining power in France.

But that remarkable accomplish­ment apparently is so alarming to so many in France that as

 ?? Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images ?? Supporters of Emmanuel Macron celebrate Sunday after the results of the first round of the presidenti­al election in Paris.
Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images Supporters of Emmanuel Macron celebrate Sunday after the results of the first round of the presidenti­al election in Paris.

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