Signing off for now. Will look forward to the final numbers tomorrow morning.
Interior Ministry puts Marine Le Pen ahead with 24.38% and Emmanuel Macron with 22.19%, François Fillon 19.63% and Jean-Luc Mélenchon 18.09, after counting of 20 million votes
Today's was a historical election, though we still don't have a new President of France until May 7. Historic because, the main parties that ruled France for almost 50 years have been eliminated.
The second and final round of election on May 7 will be a more bitterly fought one. The views of centrist Independent Macron and extreme right-wing Le Pen are vastly divergent. Immigration -- open border as opposed to closed border -- is going to be passionately debated. And the role of France in European Union and also the larger comity of nations will also come under the lens.
Marine Le Pen addresses supporters. Expresses gratitude to people for supporting her. Says survival of France is at stake.
Fillon has conceded defeat and urged his supporters to vote for Macron
Who is Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron
-- Born December 21, 1977
-- Senior civil servant and former investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque.
-- Member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009.
-- In 2015, he stated that he was no longer a member of the PS and was now an Independent.
-- As Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Data in 2014, he was at the forefront of pushing through business-friendly reforms.
Who is Marion Anne Perrine (Marine Le Pen):
-- Born on August 5, 1968
-- President of the National Front
-- Youngest daughter of FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen
-- She is said to be more republican than her father and have more acceptance among people.
-- She expelled her father from the party on August 20, 2015
-- She changed some traditional views of FN, with support for same sex unions, abortion, and pulling out death penalty.
-- She was ranked among the most influential people in 2011 and 2015 by the Time 100.
Emmanuel Macron with 23.7% is slightly ahead of Front National leader Le Pen who has 21.7%. Official figures awaited.
"C'est une belle victoire pour tous les patriotes !" pic.twitter.com/JxQHZldOFp— Marion Le Pen (@Marion_M_Le_Pen) April 23, 2017
Historic results, since the mainstream parties have been sidelined. Macron and Le Pen have 23% of votes. Fillon and Mélenchon have 19%. Benoit Hamon of Socialist party gets just 5%
Emmanuel Macron leads, Marine Le Pen takes second place in French presidential election, according to early results from FRANCE 24’s partner Ipsos.
After the disaster of predicting the US election results, which Donald Trump won in November last year, no is taking the risk of loudly proclaiming the possible winner today. Once bitten twice shy! But the above mentioned four are widely expected to end up on top.
To win the election, the leading candidate has to secure more than 50 per cent of the total votes. Since there are 11 candidates it's highly unlikely that the winner will go past the half way mark. In that case, the top two will clash again on May 7.
There are 11 candidate. The four most prominent among them span the whole spectrum:
1) Marine Le Pen of far-right National Front
2) Emmanuel Macron of centrist En Marche!
3) François Fillon, centre-right The Republicans
4) Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of far-left La France insoumise
Brexit. Trump's victory. And now French elections. This is perhaps the most unpredictable French elections in modern times. A lot of focus on rising support for the right-wing and extreme right-wing parties. In September we will see the same unpredictable scenario playing out in Germany too. Polls close in 15 minutes time. And exit poll results should be coming in soon after that.