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French Election: Round Two

French voters will head to the polls Sunday as centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron and conservative populist challenger Marine Le Pen face off in a

presidential runoff election. Voter surveys show Macron ahead of Le Pen, attempting her third run at the presidency, by at least 10 percentage points. French presidential terms last five years.   

Analysts say the challenge for both candidates will be gaining the support of voters who backed other candidates in the first round of elections. About 7.7 million had voted for left-leaning Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the first round and could abstain, cast a blank vote in the runoff (see 101), or vote for either Macron or Le Pen. 

In earlier polls, Macron and Le Pen garnered about 28% and 23% of the votes, respectively. Le Pen’s priorities include limiting immigration and removing France from NATO’s military command, while Macron supports NATO involvement and has campaigned on raising the retirement age. See their proposed policies here.