French election direct announcements: Macron faces strong challenge from Le Pen

debt…Andrea Mandovani for The New York Times

Versailles, France – The French are said to be voting with their heart in the first round and with their heads in the second round.

But voters in various cities near Paris appeared to have used both when voting Sunday, further evidence that France’s two-round voting system promotes unusually strategic thinking.

12 candidates were on the ballot. But polls suggest the second round will most likely be a rematch between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, with voters already thinking about the April 24 clash.

In Versailles, the center of the conservative Roman Catholic vote, the center-right candidate, Valerie Begress, Was a local option. But he was single digit in most polls.

After voting at City Hall, the couple, who gave only their first names, Carl, 50, and Sophie, 51, said they had voted. Eric ZemmerAn extreme right-wing television pundit who campaigned against immigrants and Muslims.

Carl, who works in real estate, said: “I’m in favor of elected immigration instead of the current situation of immigrants who want to take advantage of the French system.

This time, he and his legal adviser, Sophie, said they supported Lee Pen because they believed Ms Le Pen was trustworthy.

Grégoire Pique, 30, an engineer who cares about the environment, chose Yanik Jodot, Green candidate. But, Mr. As Jadot lost the referendum, Mr. Big supported the long-time left-wing leader. Jean-Luc MலlenchonThird place in most polls.

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In the second round, Mr Le Pen said he planned to vote for Mr Macron without hesitation, in order to block it. Big said.

“I do not like this policy, but I will do it,” he said.

About 10 miles from Versailles, in a working-class town called Trapes, with a large Muslim population, similar calculations were made.

debt…Andrea Mandovani for The New York Times

Georgette Savoni, 64, a retired transport worker, said she voted for Mr Beckress despite knowing that her chances of making it to the second round were slim. Now on two Sundays, Mr. He said he planned to vote for Macron reluctantly and stop Ms Le Pen.

“I agree with most of Macron’s economic plans, and I feel he handled the epidemic well,” Mr. Savoni said. “But I feel that he does not respect people and that he is arrogant.”

Pillay Aid, 22, a university student, wanted to support a small left-leaning candidate, but the left-wing leading candidate, Mr. Supported Mellonson. In the second round, Ms. Le Pen, who will be president, won. Although he believed he was more terrible to France than Macron, he could not forgive the president for saying that it was a repression of personal freedom. , Like the violent repression of the yellow coat movement against the state.

“I did not vote in the second round,” he said. “I’m home.”

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