President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen qualify for second round of presidential election

French voters took to the polls on Sunday in what was expected to be a tight race for the 12 presidential candidates.

This first round of the highly anticipated contest for leadership of Europe’s second-largest economy saw President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen make it to the run-off on 24 April.

Turnout was at 65% at 5:00 pm CET, several points lower than what it was at that time in the last election in 2017.

I want a France that is part of a strong Europe,’ says Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron says he is the candidate for a “strong Europe” ahead of a presidential election run-off against Marine Le Pen.

“I want a France that is part of a strong Europe, that continues to forge alliances with the major democracies to defend itself,” he said at his election night headquarters.