The Guardian published that early projection which estimates that the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron won 23,7 percent of the vote, while Marine Le Pen won 21,7.
The conservative Francois Fillon and independent Jean-Luc Melenschon are tied at 19 percent, while the Socialist Benoit Hamon is trailing far behind with just 6,5 percent of the vote.
With votes still being counted, the Socialist PM Bernard Cazeneuve has called on all democrats to vote for Emmanuel Macron, as the French political establishment tries to fend-off the danger of Le Pen presidency, as they perceive it.
I solemnly call for a vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round in order to beat the Front National and obstruct the disastrous project of Marine Le Pen that would take France backwards and divide the French people.
The BBC reports that Le Pen’s supporters are celebrating their candidate’s success in the first round.
In a short statement given AFP news agency, Emmanuel Macron said: “We’re turning a page in French political history.”
For the first time in modern French history, mainstream political parties have failed to qualify for the second round of the Presidential election.
The rise of Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, anti-establishment, Euro-skeptic, sovereignist party, changed the French political landscape. On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron is running as an independent centrist candidate.
Le Pen’s niece and Front National’s MP, Marion Maréchal Le Pen, said in a statement that Marine’s progression to the run-off is a historic victory for patriots.
For fifteen years, there has not been a pro-sovereignty candidate in the second round of a presidential election. This is great ideological victory.
Projection, Le Pen leads Macron
France 2 TV published a new projection which puts Le Pen ahead of Macron, but the difference between the two candidates is negligible. Francois Fillon is third, ahead of Melenschon.
Fillon Backs Macron
The conservative candidate Francois Fillon backed Emmanuel Macron.
We have to choose what is best for our country. Abstention is not in my genes, above all when an extremist party is close to power. The Front National is well known for its violence its intolérance, and its programme would lead our country to bankruptcy and Europe into chaos.
Extremism can can only bring unhappiness and division to France. There is no other choice than to vote against the far right. I will vote for Emmanuel Macron. I consider it my duty to tell you this frankly. It is up to you to reflect on what is best for your country, and for your children.
Demonstrators clash with police in Paris
Groups of anti-fascist and anarchist clashed with police in Paris as the first results of the Presidential election were announced.
Police have fired tear gas on the Place de la Bastille in eastern Paris as crowds of young people, gathered to express their protest against Le Pen, who is to proceed to the election run-off on May 7.
France’s survival at stake, says Le Pen
In her first appearance after the election, Marine Le Pen hails ‘patriotic voters’ for ‘historic result’. She says a ‘great debate’ will finally take place and that she look forward to facing Macron in the run-off.
You have brought me to the second round of the presidential election. I’d like to express my most profound gratitude. The first step that should lead the French people to the l’Elysée has been taken. This is a historic result.
It is also an act of French pride, the act of a people lifting their heads. It will have escaped no one that the system tried by every means possible to stifle the great political debate that must now take place. The French people now have a very simple choice: either we continue on the path to complete deregulation, or you choose France.
You now have the chance to choose real change. This is what I propose: real change/ It is time to liberate the French nation from arrogant elites who want to dictate how it must behave. Because yes, I am the candidate of the people.
Le Pen was quoted to say in her constituency of Hénin-Beaumont, speaking in front of her supporters.
Melenchon says it’s not over yet
As Fillon and the incumbent Socialist Prime Minister threw their support behind Macron before the results were even announced, the candidate of the independent Unsubmissive France movement, Jean-Luc Melenschon wrote on Facebook that he and his team do not “acknowledge the result on the basis of polls”.
First official results put Le Pen in the lead
French Interior Ministry published the first official results of the election. With some 20 million votes counted, Marin Le Pen is in the lead with 24,38 percent ahead of Emmanuel Macron with 22,19, François Fillon has 19.63% and Jean-Luc Mélechon 18.09%.
More to follow…