The final ballot count of the first round of the 2017 French presidential election indicates that centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right wing candidate Marine Le Pen have made it through to the second round. Le Pen and Macron both thanked their supporters last night.
Watch: Riots in Paris in light of early polling estimates
The French Interior Ministry announced on Monday morning that the final ballot count indicates that centrist Emmanuel Macron received 23.75% of the votes while far-right wing candidate Marine Le Pen received 21.53% of the votes. The two will face off in the second round of the election, which will take place in the beginning of May, while conservative François Fillon and leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon are out of the race.
The ministry’s announcement is consistent with the early polling estimates that predicted that Macron would win the first round with 23.7% of the votes while Marine Le Pen would receive 22% of the votes.
Marine Le Pen Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Le Pen thanked her supporters last night: “You brought me to the second round. I am very proud of you. The first step toward the Élysée Palace has been completed. We’ve made history.” Shortly thereafter, Macron also thanked his supporters: “The French nation made its voice heard today. Our country is in the midst of dramatic days- terror, economic problems and more. The nation decided to respond to them with a political solution and send me to the second round of this election. We are here to change politics.”
Fillon called on his voters to support Macron in the second round: “[We] have to vote against the far-right wing. I will vote for Macron. It is my duty.” He said that Le Pen’s party has a history of violence that divides French society. Mélenchon, on the other hand, said he does not plan to support either of the remaining candidates.
When the early polling estimates were released, anti-Le Pen activists started violent protests in Paris. Police used tear gas and water cannons in order to disperse the protesters.