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HIGHLIGHTS-French presidential election at 0030 GMT
April 23, 2017 / 7:08 PM / 5 months ago

HIGHLIGHTS-French presidential election at 0030 GMT

(Updates vote tally, candidate and market reactions)

PARIS, April 24 (Reuters) - Polls suggest centrist EMMANUEL MACRON is on course to be French president after winning the first round of voting and qualifying for a May 7 runoff alongside far-right leader MARINE LE PEN.

Main story

Here are some of the main results and reactions following Sunday’s first round of voting in France’s two-stage presidential election.

RESULTS/FORECASTS

* With 46.1 million out of the 47-million-strong electorate accounted for, the interior ministry said Emmanuel Macron was on 23.91 percent and Marine Le Pen on 21.42 percent.

* Conservative Francois Fillon was on 19.94 percent, left-winger Jean-Luc Melenchon on 19.54 percent and Socialist Benoit Hamon on 6.36 percent. Others had a combined 8.82 percent.

* Macron is set to win the second round with nearly two thirds of the vote, according to two polls conducted on Sunday.

CANDIDATE REACTIONS

* Macron tells supporters: “I want straightaway to start building a government majority and a new transformation.” An ally says the results suggest a deep malaise in French society.

* Le Pen labels Macron the “heir to Francois Hollande” and says he will not bring the change France needs. Her campaign says the second round will be a “referendum on globalisation”.

* Candidates of the defeated mainstream parties, conservative Francois Fillon and Socialist Benoit Hamon, urge voters to get behind Macron in the second round. Most other political heavyweights make similar statements.

* Left-winger Jean-Luc Melenchon refuses to back either candidate and says “Media-crats and oligarchs are celebrating”.

MEDIA REACTION

* Conservative Le Figaro says the choice between Macron and Le Pen is clear. But it warns of a downside for the centre-right in backing Macron, since it “provides an immense service to the National Front by establishing it as the sole opposition force”.

* Left-wing paper Liberation says Macron is “One Step Away” from the Elysee.

ANALYSIS & COMMENT

* The populist tsunami that slammed into Britain last year, before sweeping across the Atlantic to the United States, may have faded on the shores of France.

* To have a real chance of implementing the reform of France’s economy and politics that he wants, Macron needs a victory big enough to enlist popular figures from established parties in parliamentary elections in June.

* Macron’s chances of victory are better than his ability to deliver on promises of change. (Breakingviews)

MARKETS

* Euro surges in early trading in Asia, while in Europe French bond yields are expected to fall and French stocks to rally on relief that France has not been left with a choice between two radical, anti-EU candidates.

* Euro pops to 5-month high vs dollar on French election relief, touches $1.0940.

* U.S. stock index futures up sharply on relief that centrist Emmanuel Macron took the first round, reducing the prospect of an anti-establishment market shock.

* “Markets will be reassured that the dreaded Le Pen versus Melenchon run-off has been avoided,” says Diego Iscaro, economist at IHS Markit.

* Other market reaction

LINK

Full summary of Reuters election coverage

Reporting by Tim Hepher

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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