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French Election: Macron Will Crush Le Pen in Second Round, Poll Shows

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President Hollande urges France to vote for Marcon

French president Francois Hollande exits a voting booth after voting in the presidential election in Tulle, central France, April 23, 2017.Credit: Georges Gobet/AP

French president Francois Hollande has urged voters to choose centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 presidential runoff to keep out far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Speaking from the Elysee palace, Hollande said Le Pen's platform of pulling out of the euro would devastate the country's economy and threaten French liberty.

He said the far right would "deeply divide France" at a time when the terror threat requires "solidarity" and "cohesion."

Macron was Hollande's top adviser on economic issues from 2012 to 2014, then economy minister in his Socialist government for two years.

In April 2016, he launched his own political movement, En Marche! (In Motion!) to prepare his presidential bid as an independent centrist candidate. He quit the government few months later. (AP)

The populist monster won more votes than macron | Opinion

The outcome of the first round of Frances presidential election  produced sighs of relief throughout most of the Free World. The nightmare scenario that would have destroyed what's left of the liberal West – in which far-right leader Marine Le Pen and extreme leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon would face each other in the second round – has been avoided.

But there is no reason to rejoice. As many commentators have pointed out, Emmanuel Macrons victory on Sunday May 7 is far from assured. Hard-line leftists and rightists not only dislike him, their certainty that his victory is assured might stop them voting for him to block Le Pen. (Carlo Strenger)

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A man walking past campaign posters of French presidential election candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, April 21, 2017.Credit: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP

French Muslim leader references 'xenophobic' threat, calls on Muslims to vote Marcon

A senior French Muslim leader has called on the country's nearly 5 million Muslims to "vote massively" to elect Emmanuel Macron president.

Dalil Boubakeur, rector of Paris' Grand Mosque, called the final May 7 vote to choose the next French head of state "decisive for the destiny of France and its religious minorities."

His statement said: "The Grand Mosque of Paris and its National Federation (FGMP) call on Muslims in France to vote massively for candidate Emmanuel Macron."

Without referencing Marine Le Pen explicitly, Boubakeur says French citizens must comprehend the "threat embodied by xenophobic ideas dangerous to our cohesion."

Macron won over 23 percent and is widely seen to be the favorite. (AP)

Le Pen and Macron both lost the French-Israeli Vote

Despite the long lines evident outside polling stations around Israel on Sunday, figures published by the French embassy in Tel Aviv show that voter turnout among French-Israelis in the first round of the presidential election was no higher than usual and that the conservative Republican Francois Fillon was by far the preferred candidate among the four main contenders. (Judy Maltz)

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European Jewish leader: Le Pen 'no less dangerous than her Holocaust-denying father'

The president of the European Jewish Congress lamented the success of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round of the French presidential elections.

Speaking on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Moshe Kantor described Le Pen as "dangerous" and added that it was "extremely regrettable that more than one in five French voters voted for Le Pen."

Kantor highlighted that the 48-year-old National Front leader recently "made comments against the historic record of the Holocaust which makes her no less dangerous than her Holocaust-denying father who she has tried to hide."

Earlier this month, Le Pen denied that France was responsible for rounding up more than 13,000 Jews at a Paris cycle track to be sent to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust. (AP)

Marine Le Pen is kissed by her father Jean-Marie on November 30, 2014.Credit: Laurent Cipriani/AP

Le Pen: Macron 'weak' on 'Islamist terrorism'

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen launched a scathing attack against her centrist rival Emmanuel Macron on Monday, a day after the two were put through to a second round runoff on May 7, calling him "weak" in the face of Islamist terrorism. 

"I'm on the ground to meet the French people to draw their attention to important subjects, including Islamist terrorism, a topic about which we can say, at the least, that Mr. Macron is weak on," Le Pen told reporters. 

"Mr. Macron has no project to protect the French people in the face of Islamist dangers," she said, adding that the run-off with Macron was a referendum on "uncontrolled globalization." (Reuters)

Macron will crush Le Pen in second round, poll shows

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron is projected to beat far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French election and take the presidency, a poll projected on Monday.

Macron was seen taking 61 percent of the vote over Le Pen's 39 percent. (Reuters)

Why an 8-year-old Jewish girl hopes Le Pen will win

PARIS For a gathering Sunday night to watch the results of France's presidential election come in, the Shalom radio station and a Jewish weekly organized a cocktail party in Paris historical Jewish quarter.

When centrist Emmanuel Macrons picture appeared on the screen a handful of people cheered in relief, but when it turned out that Marine Le Pen was closed behind, some booed, even if few in the room were surprised she had qualified for the next round on May 7. (Shirli Sitbon)

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Macron's victory is a ray of hope for the world, but the French presidency's not in his pocket

Its as if in the home stretch of the toughest bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France, the leading bunch of riders were tied until the very last meters. But the two riders who had been tagged as the strongest proved that they were indeed capable of giving their utmost and being the first to cross the finish line – the tyro rider Emmanuel Macron, with the freshness reserved for the young, and the (relatively) veteran rider Marine Le Pen, who proved that, like her father, she should never be eulogized. (Sefy Hendler)

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The front lines of an old-new politics redrawn Sunday night

The exit polls clearly indicating that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen were through to the second round of the French presidential election were barely in before the main right-wing party's candidate, third-place Francois Fillon, as well as fifth-placed Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon conceded. Within the hour, Fillon and Hamon urged their supporters to vote on May 7 for centrist Macron, and more importantly, against the ultra-nationalist Le Pen. 

Nearly all major political figures in France swiftly followed suit. Many of them resent Macron, who has single-handedly smashed the old party structure of the Fifth Republic, winning the first place (and by all polls, in two weeks the presidency) with a party that has no MPs and was founded only one year ago. But against Le Pen's National Front, everyone from the conservative right to the Socialist left is united. Everyone that is except for the man in fourth place, the Left Front's candidate Jean Luc Melenchon. (Anshel Pfeffer)

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Final French vote count puts Macron, Le Pen through to second round

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen led the first round of France's presidential election, qualifying for a second-round runoff in two weeks, final voting figures from the Interior Ministry showed on Monday.

The figures put Macron on 23.75 percent of votes and Le Pen on 21.53 percent, followed by conservative Francois Fillon at 19.91 percent and far-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon on 19.64 percent, the ministry said in a statement. 

Nearly complete French vote count puts Macron, Le Pen in second round

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are leading in the official count of votes from the first round of France's presidential election with 46 million tallied so far, figures from the Interior Ministry showed on Monday.

With nearly all of France's 47 million strong electorate accounted for, the figures put Macron on 23.82 percent of votes and Le Pen on 21.58 percent, conservative Francois Fillon at 19.96 percent, and far-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon on 19.49 percent.

Two men charged in thwarted pre-election attack

French authorities have filed preliminary charges against two people of plotting an attack days before a tense presidential election.

The Paris prosecutor's office said Sunday the two men are being kept in custody pending further investigation. They were given preliminary charges Sunday of "association with a terrorist enterprise with plans to prepare one or several attacks," and weapons and explosives charges.

The two suspected Islamic radicals were arrested Tuesday in Marseille and police seized guns and explosives. The target of their potential attack is unclear, though presidential campaign teams were warned about the threat.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said that investigators have released three people without charge after they were detained in an attack on Paris' Champs-Elysees. The attacker was killed but three people in his entourage were detained for two days.

France's Macron bills himself the "patriots' candidate" vs. Le Pen

Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron called on all "patriots" to rally behind him against the threat of what he called "nationalists," after qualifying on Sunday for the French election's runoff against far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

"I want to be the president of patriots against the threat of nationalists," the 39-year old centrist told a cheering crowd of supporters.

Macron, whose "En Marche!" party is only one year old and has never taken part in any parliamentary election, also said he would as soon as Monday work on building a parliament majority to be able to govern after legislative elections in June.

"In one year, we have changed the face of French politics," Macron said. 

Macron heavily favored in runoff, polls show

French centrist Emmanuel Macron is set to be elected president in a May 7 runoff with nearly two thirds of the vote, said two polls conducted on Sunday, after early projections indicated he had qualified along with far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

A Harris Interactive poll for M6 television found that 64 percent of those surveyed would vote for the former economy minister while 36 percent were seen voting for Le Pen.

Meanwhile, an Ipsos Sopra Steria poll for France Televisions said Macron was seen winning 62 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Le Pen.

French-Israelis turn out in huge numbers - to vote against presidential candidates

Sonia Wasserman moved to Israel from France 45 years ago, and until today, never once voted in a French election. Her fear that the National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, could be elected the next French president, she says, is what drove her to stand in line for two-and-a-hours outside a polling station in Tel Aviv this afternoon in order to vote.

She is simply a fascist, says Wasserman of the French far-right leader. Like many of the hundreds standing in this long line that extends down the block, this 70-year-old retired dentist appears to care more about who loses in the election than who wins. By process of elimination, Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist, has become her candidate of choice.

French diplomats in Israel hadnt expected this kind of turnout. It looks like there has been a strong mobilization of French voters in Israel, says Jean-Marie Druette, the first secretary at the French embassy, observing the long lines down the street, and this is a good thing. (Judy Maltz)

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Israelis with French citizenship arrive at a polling station to vote for the French election in Tel Aviv, April 23, 2017. Credit: David Bachar

Le Pen ahead of Macron, partial results show

With 34 percent of the vote counted, France's Interior Ministry says that far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is leading with 24.6 percent of the vote followed by centrist Emmanuel Macron with 21.9 percent.

The early vote count includes primarily rural constituencies that lean to the right, while urban areas that lean left are counted later.

Both candidates will advance to the May 7 runoff after their rivals conceded defeat.

For the first time in modern French history, no mainstream party candidate is advancing, upending the country's political system. (AP)

Le Pen claims victory in first round before cheering crowd

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has claimed victory in the first-round presidential race and says that her National Front party will represent "the great alternative" to the French people.

Marine Le Pen celebrates after early results come in for the first round of the French presidential election, Henin-Beaumont, France, April 23, 2017.Credit: CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS

With a broad smile, Le Pen stood before an adoring crowd and pledged to open a much-needed debate on globalization. Her speech ended with the French national anthem.

Le Pen has campaigned to leave the European Union, protect France's borders, clamp down on immigration, and expel Islamic extremists.

Her success, along with that of centrist newcomer Emmanuel Macron, leaves the May 7 runoff without a mainstream political candidate for the first time in modern French history. (AP)

Partial results show Macron, Le Pen leading

Partial official results from France's first-round presidential election show far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron leading.

The two will advance to the May 7 runoff, after rivals conceded defeat.

With 19.1 percent of the vote counted, France's Interior Ministry said Sunday night that Le Pen was leading with 25 percent followed by Macron with 21.3 percent. The early vote count includes primarily rural constituencies that lean to the right, while urban areas that lean left are counted later.

Polling agency projections show Macron in the lead with between 23 and 24 percent, followed by Le Pen with between 21 and 23 percent. (AP)

French PM urges voters to support Macron

France's prime minister has called on voters to support centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron against far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the country's presidential election.

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has called for the defeat of Le Pen's National Front party, in comments just after polling agencies projected the two advancing to the May 7 presidential runoff.

The announcement came moments after the Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon conceded defeat. If the results hold, it would be the first time in modern French history that no major-party candidate has advanced to the presidential runoff. (AP)

Conservative candidate Fillon concedes defeat

French conservative candidate Francois Fillon has conceded defeat in the French election. He called on his supporters to back Emmanual Macron in order to block far-right leader Marine Le Pen from winning the second round on May 7. (Reuters)

Francois Fillon delivers a speech at his campaign headquarters in Paris, on April 23, 2017, after the first round of the presidential election.Credit: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP

Macron, Le Pen make it to second round, polls predict

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are set to face each other in a May 7 runoff for the French presidency after coming first and second in Sunday's first round of voting, early projections indicate. 

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.Credit: JOEL SAGET ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP

In a race that was too close to call up to the last minute, Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and economy minister who founded his own party only a year ago, is projected to get 24 percent by the pollster Harris and 23.7 percent by Elabe. 

Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration and anti-EU National Front, is given 22 percent by both institutes. Three further pollsters all project broadly similar results. (Reuters)

How Le Pen could pull off the perfect storm in France | Analysis

Recent developments in the French campaign have increased the prospect of a perfect storm for National Front leader Marine Le Pen and the possibility that the incomprehensible could actually happen: The leader of the extreme right may be on a direct path to the French presidency.

The developments of the past several days in France raise concern that the results in Sundays first voting round will place Le Pen in the second and final round in another two weeks. That scenario would put her face-to-face with a candidate whose establishment character and corruption make Hillary Clinton look as refreshing and innovative as former U.S. President Barack Obama during his campaign in 2008. (Asaf Ronel)

Read full story here

Marine Le Pen is framed by fireworks as she attends a political rally in Chateauroux, France, March 11, 2017.Credit: CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/REUTERS

Macron wins French vote, second Belgian paper reports

Centrist Emmanuel Macron should enter the May 7 runoff for the French presidency after topping Sunday's first round of voting, but the identity of his challenger is too close to call, Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique says on its website, citing an unidentified pollster's forecast based on early results.

La Libre gives the following forecast for the result:

Emmanuel Macron (centrist) 24 percent
Marine Le Pen (far right) 21 percent
Francois Fillon (center-right) 21 percent
Jean-Luc Melenchon (far left) 19 percent (Reuters)

Macron leads while Le Pen trails behind, polling firms predict

Three French polling companies predict that centrist Emmanuel Macron is leading the way with 24-25 percent of the vote, the Belgian newspaper L'Eco reports.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen and far leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon are trailing behind Macron on tied second place with about 20 percent of the vote each. Francois Fillon is estimated to come in on fourth place with only 18 percent of the vote, the report says.

Emmanuel Macron greets supporters on Sunday, April 23, 2017.Credit: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

French election will show the stuff modern democracy is made of | Analysis

Slightly more than 40 percent of French voters are expected Sunday to propel two candidates into the second round of the countrys presidential election. The candidates who place third and fourth will, at least according to the polls, receive nearly as many votes as the two front-runners. The countrys future is to be decided by a minority of voters and what looks like little more than a statistical coincidence.

A week ago in Turkey, after a referendum campaign that was marred by allegations of government favoritism and serious fraud in the vote-counting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan eked out just 51.5 percent in favor of changing the constitution and hugely increasing his powers.

Meanwhile, in Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election for the mother of parliaments in what is universally predicted to be a landslide victory for her Conservative Party not so much because it has done a great job in power or has immensely popular policies, but due to the debilitating weakness of Labour, the main opposition party, under the hopeless leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. (Anshel Pfeffer)

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Turnout slightly down from 2012 election; survey: 20 percent abstained

Turnout figures for the first round of the French presidential election show a 69.42 percentage participation rate by around 5 P.M. local time, France's Interior Ministry says, with the numbers down slightly from the last election. 

Two surveys show that the final abstention rate is likely to be around 20 percent, broadly in line with that of five years ago.

Voters queue at a polling station in Marseille, southern France, on April 23, 2017.Credit: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP

A survey from Harris Interactive estimates the final abstention rate at 21.5 percent, while one from Ifop-Fiducial for Paris Match and CNews put the abstention rate at 19 percent. 

The latest turnout figure compared to 70.59 percent at the same time during the last election in 2012, 73.87 percent in 2007 and 58.45 percent in 2002. (Reuters)

Macron and Le Pen leading in exit polls, Belgian broadcaster says

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are leading in exit polls in the first round of the French presidential election, Belgian broadcaster RTBF reports.

According to RTBF, Macron is leading with 24 percent of the vote, followed by Le Pen with 22 percent, according to midday exit polls.

Conservative former prime minister Francois Fillon reportedly had 20.5 percent of the vote, and leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon 18 percent.

RTBF did not provide details as to which pollster provided the figures, nor on how many voters participated in the polls.

It is illegal in France to publish exit polls, partial results or projections while voting is under way. (DPA)

Thousands rally in Berlin for pro-EU French vote

Thousands of people are rallying in Berlin to show their support for the idea of a united Europe and for a pro-European outcome for France's presidential election.

Demonstrators rally at the Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin, Germany, April 23, 2017.Credit: Joerg Carstensen/AP

The weekly demonstrations organized by a grassroots group in Germany and other European countries calling itself Pulse of Europe began at the end of 2016 to counter growing nationalist sentiment and opposition to the European Union.

On Sunday, thousands showed up at the German capital's Gendarmenmarkt square. They waved the star-spangled blue flags of Europe, held up signs like "Berlin loves France" and sang Europe's "Ode to Joy" anthem. (AP)

Hollande urges French to vote in election

Outgoing French President Francois Hollande has said the best message of this election would be "to show democracy is stronger than anything" by going out to vote.

Hollande, who is not standing for reelection, oversaw tight security measures for Sunday's first-round poll to help prevent disruption after Thursday's deadly attack on the Champs-Elysees.

Outgoing French president Francois Hollande waves to supporters as he leaves in a car after casting his vote.Credit: GEORGES GOBET/AFP

His government mobilized over 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect polling stations.

Voting in his political fiefdom of Tulle in Correze, southwestern France, Hollande said that "we are in such a time, and sadly it's nothing new and not about to end now, when we must mobilize a lot of means."

He called the measures a "guarantee to the French people this fundamental right of choosing their future." (AP)

France's presidential election: Everything you need to know

When will results be known? What is this second-round business all about? Is voting restricted only to France?

Find out the answers to these questions and more HERE.

People stand in a voting booth before casting their votes at a polling station in Villefranche-de-Lauragais, near Toulouse, on April 23, 2017.Credit: ERIC CABANIS/AFP

Russian chief rabbi: Jews must leave France if Le Pen wins

Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar called on French Jews to leave their country if the far right politician Marine Le Pen is elected president.

If Marine Le Pen is elected president of France, the Jews must leave, Lazar said Friday, according to a transcription of his address at the conference provided by Limmud FSU.

Marine Le Pen leaves a polling booth as she votes in Henin-Beaumont, north-western France, on April 23, 2017. Credit: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP

The situation there is very worrying. Not only because of immigrants, but also because the general population is heading toward radicalization. The best example of this is the rise of extreme-right parties, he said.

Le Pen recently called for banning the wearing of the kippah in public and for making it illegal for French nationals to also have an Israeli passport — steps she said were necessary because of the principle of equality in order to facilitate similar limitations on Muslims. Le Pen has said radical Islam is a threat on French culture and has called on Jews to make certain sacrifices in order to fight jihadism. (JTA)

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Two-hour long lines for French voters in Tel Aviv and London

Israelis with French citizenship arrive at a polling station to vote for the French election in Tel Aviv, April 23, 2017. Credit: David Bachar
French nationals queue up outside the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle in London on April 23, 2017.Credit: NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP

French nationals in Tel Aviv and London seeking to cast their ballot in today's election encountered long lines at the entrance to the polling stations.

London-based reporter John Ethan Detrixhe tweeted that the line outside the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle was about two hours long.

Israelis with French citizenship arrive at a polling station to vote for the French election in Tel Aviv, April 23, 2017. Credit: David Bachar
Israelis with French citizenship arrive at a polling station to vote for the French election in Tel Aviv, April 23, 2017. Credit: David Bachar

French presidential election turnout figures slightly above 2012 at midday

Turnout figures for the first round of the French presidential election show a 28.54 percentage participation rate by midday local time, France's Interior Ministry says, slightly above the corresponding rate in the 2012 vote. 

The 28.54 percent compared to 28.29 percent in 2012 at the same hour, and compared to midday turnout rates of 31.21 percent in 2007 and 21.40 percent in 2002. (Reuters)

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel tower in Paris on April 23, 2017.Credit: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP

Election could be end of Europe as we know it - and a headache for Israel

Since the end of World War II, the membership of Western Europes three powers in the EU and NATO has ensured the continents peace, counter-balanced the Soviet Union and helped bring about the Soviet empires implosion by posing an example of prosperity. Europe can survive Britain (which remains a staunch NATO member) leaving the EU, but France leaving both entities would shatter the EU and dramatically weaken both NATO and the entire West facing Putins aggression. 

People cast their ballots at a polling station in the small rural town of Le Pin, western France, on April 23, 2017. Credit: JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP

A Marine Le Pen- Jean-Luc Mélenchon run-off would be a headache for Israel, too. Mélenchon is the candidate of Frances Left Front, the only political party represented at a national level which has an actively pro-Palestinian policy and supports boycotts of Israel. This is usually not a major issue, as the party has never polled over seven percent in national elections, but if Mélenchon takes the presidency, these views would gain a much larger platform. As for Le Pen, she has been officially ostracized by Israel throughout her political career. Israel accepts the policy of the French Jewish leadership that sees her National Front party as anti-Semitic and therefore has no ties with it.

The prospect of either Le Pen or Mélenchon becoming the leader of a major Western nation would be unpalatable in Jerusalem. (Anshel Pfeffer)

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Pollsters throw in the towel in neck-and-neck race

PARIS, FRANCE – Forty-seven million French people are eligible to vote on Sunday which of the 11 presidential candidates goes to a runoff, in the culmination of a political season that was full of surprises.

Uncertainly about the results of Sunday's election only increases when pollsters try to get around the question of the vote itself.

To the question: Which candidate conforms to your image of the office of president of the republic? more than 70 percent say Fillon. When asked: Which candidate do you personally sympathize with most," the majority said Mélenchon. When asked: During the campaign, which candidate addressed problems that really bother you, most said Le Pen. And when asked, "Which candidate made you feel most optimistic about Frances future and your future, most chose Macron.

It seems that the uncertainly will persist until the moment the results are announced. (Dov Alfon)

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People cast their ballots at a polling station in Saint-Denis de la Reunion, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on April 23, 2017.Credit: RICHARD BOUHET/AFP

Voters begin casting presidential election ballots

French voters have begun casting ballots for the presidential election in a tense first-round poll that's seen as a test for the spread of populism around the world.

Over 60,000 polling stations opened Sunday for some 47 million eligible voters, who will choose between 11 candidates. It's the most unpredictable election in generations.

A person casts his ballot at a polling station in Strasbourg, northeastern France, on April 23, 2017.Credit: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP

Polls suggest far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist and former economy minister, were in the lead. But conservative François Fillon, a former prime minister, appeared to be closing the gap, as was far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

France's 10 percent unemployment, its lackluster economy and security issues topped voters' concerns.

Early voting began Saturday in France's overseas territories. (AP)

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