PARIS — Centrist former economy minister Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff to determine who will be France’s next president after rivals conceded defeat Sunday.
It is the first time in modern French history that no major-party candidate will be represented in the final round.
Macron won just under 24% of the vote while Le Pen secured about 22%, according to French polling agency projections Sunday.
The first-round vote was seen as a major test of the strength of a continent-wide backlash against Muslim immigration and European unity. Surveys show that Macron is likely to beat Le Pen in the final round.
Protesters angry that Le Pen is moving to the next round scuffled with police. Crowds gathered on the Place de la Bastille, and police fired tear gas to disperse an increasingly rowdy gathering as riot officers surrounded the area, the Associated Press reports.
Le Pen campaigned on an anti-immigration and anti-European Union platform while Macron is a business-friendly candidate who ran as an independent. Conservative Francois Fillon was projected to place third, trailed narrowly by far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon…. see more