Striking Factory Workers Give Cold Reception to Macron After Le Pen's Visit

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French election was also closely followed by Germany, which awaits its federal elections in September, and prompted immediate response from German politicians.

The strong showing for Macron comes from the left wing vote; 93 per cent of those who backed Socialist party candidate Benoit Hamon and 77 per cent of those who voted for far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon have thrown their support behind Macron.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier described Macron as a "patriot and European" who he felt confident would win out in the run off round with Le Pen on May 7.

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The stunning first round winners meant that the two main political parties in France, the conservative Républicains party and Socialist party, failed to advance for the first time since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, according totheTelegraph.

He said a far-right president would "deeply divide France". The oligarchy has already installed Emmanuel Macron in the president's seat. Macron has never held elected office and his independent On the Move party did not even exist a year ago.

Speaking after Hollande warned him earlier in the day against taking victory for granted, Macron sought to regain some initiative.

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But after the political shocks of Britain's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's unlikely ascent to the White House, analysts say a late surge by Le Pen is still possible.

Erwan Lestrohan, director of opinions department at BVA pollster, expects that continued terror threats and rising risks of immigration crisis give a boost to Le Pen who embraces a protectionism approach. "This would make us enter into a France where the practice of power will be more animated, more intense", he added. In the first round, those voters mostly came out in droves for Mélenchon, who shot up in the polls recently to take fourth place, and won 19.64% of first-round votes (just shy of what Le Pen would need to win the presidency). The Philippines has not had a majority vote-winning president in the last 25 years. "The people will reserve a major surprise for the oligarchy", she said.

Since securing her berth in the run-off, Le Pen has turbo-charged her campaign with a string of appearances and statements, leaving her opponent on the back foot.

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