As the polling stations in France begin to close, early estimates predict the left-center and far-right candidates are in the lead and the pair most likely to go through to the second round of the French presidential elections.







The two leading candidates

The two leading candidates Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

After an especially intense day, it appears that the French left-centered candidate Emmanuel Macron is the winner of the first round of the French presidential election according to polling estimates released this evening. Polling estimates also predict that far-right candidate Marine La Pen will go through to the second round along with Macron.  

At the closing time of the polling stations in France, it was reported that voter turnout was 80%. In the course of the day, commentators in France estimated that such a relatively high turnout could harm extremist parties especially leader of the National Front Marine Le Pen.







France's leading candidate: Emmanuel Macron

France’s leading candidate: Emmanuel Macron Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Meanwhile, the candidates await the official results: Le Pen from Henin-Beaumont, Jean-Luc Mélenchon from a French baron in Paris, Francois Fillon at the Republican Party headquarters in Paris and Macron as well.

Since this morning (Sunday), tens of millions of French citizens went to the polls officially opening the French presidential elections, an election critical to the future of France as well as the whole of Europe. More than 50,000 security personnel were deployed around the polling stations in light of fears of terrorism.







The National Front's Marine Le Pen voting today

The National Front’s Marine Le Pen voting today Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News






Graffiti swastika on Marine Le Pen poster

Graffiti swastika on Marine Le Pen poster Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

French elections were also held overseas. French voters residing in Israel were able to cast their ballot at 14 polling stations scattered throughout six cities: Netanya, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ashdod, Be’er Sheva and Eilat. At the French consulate in Tel Aviv, French citizens lined up, some expressing concern about the far-right candidates.