French Election: German Govt. pleased with Macron's first round victory

The two highest-scoring candidates from the first round go through to contest a run-off second round on May 7.

"The main thing at stake in this election is the rampant globalization that is endangering our civilization", she added while calling herself "the candidate for the people".

Le Pen hailed the election results as "historic" while promising to "free the French people from arrogant elites".

French nationals in Montreal expressed mixed reactions on Sunday as preliminary results showed far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron leading in the first round of France's presidential election.

Le Pen has campaigned on a divisive anti-immigrant and xenophobic platform, and was accused of exploiting last week's shooting of a Paris police officer in an effort to garner votes.

He said he wants to gather "the largest possible" support before the runoff.

Le Pen, in a chest-thumping speech to cheering supporters Sunday night, declared that she embodies "the great alternative" for French voters.

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Le Pen has proposed holding a referendum on France's membership of the European Union, limiting immigration, increasing control on the country's borders and expelling Islamic extremists.

"There is no other choice but to vote against the far right, I will vote for Emmanuel Macron", Fillon told supporters.

Macron may face a hard task in winning sufficient backers in the French parliamentary elections in June, necessitating some kind of delicate political compromise with established centrist and left-wing parties.

This victory for the pollsters is particularly good for the euro as nearly all the pollsters are predicting a decisive victory for Emmanuel Macron in the second round when he is expected to beat Madame Le pen by 62-38 percent. "All the democrats in France must now unite, so that he and no nationalist will become president", Schulz said in a tweet.

In a brief televised message after the last polling stations closed, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged voters to back Macron to beat the National Front's "funereal project of regression for France and of division of the French".

Voting took place amid heightened security in the first election under France's state of emergency, which has been in place since gun-and-bomb attacks in Paris in 2015.

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