Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron will face off with National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French election.
Macron, who served as a minister in Socialist President Francois Hollande’s cabinet, placed first with around 23% of the vote, while Le Pen gathered around 22%.
Fillon placed third, conceding the election and urging his supporters to back Macron in the second round. He had previously been expected to win the election, but has been dogged by allegations that he payed his family thousands of Euros for work around the office that they did not do.
Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, who consistently polled in the single digits, finished a distant fifth, also conceding the election and endorsing Macron.
All major parties so far have rallied behind Macron’s victory, urging their supporters to block Le Pen from potentially winning the presidency.
Macron, speaking to his supporters, said he would gather a parliamentary team in the coming days to contest the June legislative elections. Meanwhile, Le Pen called on “French patriots” to support her bid for the presidency, calling the second round a “referendum on globalization.”
The Euro rose at the news of Macron’s victory.
The second round will be held on May 7th.
(Image: Le Temps)