Macron and Le Pen, on their way to the second round

Macron and Le Pen, on their way to the second round

(CNN) – Emmanuel Macron And Marine Le Pen appear to be the main candidates after the first round of the presidential election FranceAnalysis of the first results shows a virtual rematch of the 2017 competition.

Macron, the current president of France, topped the poll with 28.6% of the vote, according to an IFOP-Fiducial poll by French broadcasters TF1 and LCI. Le Pen, the long-time champion of the French far right, is in second place with 23.6%.

Twelve candidates competed for the highest office in the country. If neither of them gets more than 50% of the vote, the two main candidates will face each other in the second round on April 24. But the second round is almost guaranteed: under the current system no French presidential candidate has won the first round.

The contest was marked by voter indifference, with an estimated turnout of 73.3%, according to the IFOP-Fiducial, the first round in 20 years. Macron leads in the first ballot.

Macron is seeking to become the first French president to win re-election since Jacques Chirac in 2002. Despite the opinion polls giving him a consistent lead, the competition has dropped significantly over the past month.

In third place was left-wing rebel Jean-Luc Melenchon with 20.1%. Mலlenchon experienced a late surge of support, and even found himself able to present himself as Macron’s real challenger at the last minute.

A woman chooses her ballot in the first round of the French presidential election in Lyon, central France on Sunday.

No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote, according to the study. An extreme right-wing political commentator, he became the presidential candidate, enjoying being one of the three leading candidates in the IFOP poll until Eric Zemor and March, receiving 7%.

Pre-poll polls showed that the Macron run-off against Le Pen was largely a decision. Macron conveniently defeated Le Pen five years ago, but pundits say for a second The rivalry between the two will be very close Than the 2017 competition.

Macron is no longer a political newcomer, running with mixed record. Although his ambitious plan to increase EU autonomy and geopolitical influence has earned him respect abroad and at home, he remains a divisive figure in French domestic politics.

French President Emmanuel Macron (center) speaks with his wife, Brigitte Macron (left), a resident before voting in the first round of Sunday’s presidential election.

Macron’s handling of the gilets jaunes movement, one of France’s longest-running protests for decades, has been widely criticized, and his record on the Govit-19 epidemic is endless.

Macron’s signature policy during the crisis required people to show evidence of the vaccine to go back to their normal lives, helping to increase vaccination rates, but also prompted minorities to speak out against his presidency.

Although Le Pen is best known for his extreme right-wing policies such as strict control of immigration and the banning of Muslim helmets in public places, this time he campaigned more routinely, softening his language and focusing more on domestic economic issues. Rising cost of living is one of the main concerns of the French electorate.

Xiaofei Xu of CNN contributed to this report.

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