French leader Emmanuel Macron and challenger Marine Le Pen qualified on Sunday for what promises to be a very tightly fought presidential election runoff on 24 April, pitting a pro-European economic liberal against a far-right nationalist. Reuters reports that with partial results putting Macron in first place ahead of Le Pen after the first-round voting, other major candidates admitted defeat. Except for another far-right candidate, Eric Zemmour, they all urged voters to block the far-right in the second round. But after five years in power in which his abrasive style has upset many, while Le Pen succeeded in softening her image, pundits warn that Macron will not be able to count on voters’ traditional anti-far right front.
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