POLL: Do you think Macron or Le Pen would be better for Brexit Britain?

Macron: Host questions achievements of last five years

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While incumbent president Emmanuel Macron emerged with the lion’s share of the votes, he admitted to his supporters that “nothing is decided”, as Marine Le Pen proved a formidable opponent with results closer than expected. Now, the candidates will face one another on April 24 in the run-off as France elects its new president. 

With 97 percent of votes counted on Monday morning, Mr Macron had a 27.6 percent share, followed by Ms Le Pen with 23.41 percent. 

This means the two candidates will proceed to the April 24 run-off, with early polls showing a race too close to call and everything to play for. 

A poll by the Ifop institute for TF1, a French television channel, said Mr Macron was on course to win by the slimmest of margins – 51 percent to 49 percent, which is within the margin of error. 

Now, Mr Macron’s team is planning a series of big rallies and major TV appearances, after somewhat lacklustre campaigning ahead of the first round. 

Addressing his supporters, Mr Macron promised to work harder than in the first part of the campaign, saying he’d been more focused on Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

He said: “When the extreme right in all its forms represents so much of our country, we cannot feel that things are going well.”

Addressing supporters of Ms Le Pen, he said: “I want to convince them in the next few days that our project answers solidly to their fears and challenges of our time.”

For her part, Ms Le Pen said it was time for a “great changeover in France”. 

She said the vote on April 24 was between two views: “Either division and disorder, or a union of the French people around guaranteed social justice.”

Ms Le Pen has built her campaign around the cost-of-living crunch facing much of Europe, promising to cut taxes and waive income tax for under-30s. 

There has been less emphasis on nationalism than in her previous campaigns, but she wants a referendum on restricting immigration, radical change to the EU and a ban on the Islamic hijab in public areas.

Mr Macron will certainly target Ms Le Pen’s close links with Russia in his campaign, after she visited him before the previous election in 2017 and her party took out a Russian loan.

Mr Macron said he wanted a France that made alliances with great democracies to defend itself, not a state that would leave Europe and have only populists and xenophobes for allies. 

So what do you think? Would Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen be better for Brexit Britain? Vote in our poll and join the debate in the comments section below.

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