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French President and centrist candidate for re-election Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron stand in voting booths at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, Sunday April 24, 2022. France began voting during A presidential run-off on Sunday with repercussions for the future of Europe, with centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron in the lead, but facing a tough challenge from far-right rival Marine Le Pen.  (Gonzalo Fuentes; Pool via AP)

French President and centrist candidate for re-election Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron stand in voting booths at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, Sunday April 24, 2022. France began voting during A presidential run-off on Sunday with repercussions for the future of Europe, with centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron in the lead, but facing a tough challenge from far-right rival Marine Le Pen. (Gonzalo Fuentes; Pool via AP)

PA

France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen conceded defeat in the presidential run-off, handing victory to incumbent President Emmanuel Macron.

She said her unprecedented tally in a presidential election represents “a brilliant victory in itself”.

“The ideas we represent are reaching new heights,” she said.

French polling agencies predict centrist Macron won the run-off against Le Pen which took place on Sunday.

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MORE STORIES:

— Macron vs Le Pen: France votes in a tense presidential second round

— France’s Presidential Rivals: Key Moments, Private Lives

— EXPLAINER: How the old-fashioned voting system works in France

– Follow all AP articles on the 2022 French presidential election at https://apnews.com/hub/france-election-2022

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

PARIS — French polling agencies predict incumbent centrist Emmanuel Macron will win the second round of the French presidential election on Sunday, beating far-right rival Marine Le Pen in a tight race that has been clouded by the war in Ukraine and has seen an increase in support for extremist ideas.

If the projections are confirmed by official results, Macron would be the first French president in a generation to win a second term, since Jacques Chirac in 2002. But he would face a divided nation and a battle to retain his parliamentary majority in the legislative elections. in June.

Five years ago, Macron won a landslide victory over Le Pen to become France’s youngest president. The margin should be much lower this time: polling agencies Opinionway, Harris and Ifop-Fiducial predicted that Macron would get between 57% and 58.5% of the vote, with Le Pen getting between 41.5% and 43%.

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PARIS – Turnout is lower than usual in the second round of the French presidential election on Sunday, apparently reflecting voters’ frustration with the two candidates, centrist President Emmanuel Macron and the extreme challenger right Marine Le Pen.

Turnout at 5:00 p.m. Paris time (3:00 p.m. GMT) was 63%, the Interior Ministry said. It was below 65% at the same time in the last presidential run-off in 2017, when Macron overwhelmingly beat Le Pen, and 72% when socialist Francois Hollande won the presidency in 2012.

Polls ahead of Sunday’s election have given Macron a solid lead over Le Pen, but to keep it he needs the support of many left-leaning voters who shunned him and Le Pen in the first round of the 10th election. april. stay home this time instead.

Polling station projections and the first official results are expected after the last polls in France close at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT).

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LE TOUQUET, France — The two candidates in the second round of the French presidential election cast their ballots — and were treated to an adoring crowd outside their polling stations.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen went first, cheerfully waving to election workers in the northern town of Hénin-Beaumont, in France’s beleaguered former industrial heartland. She left the voting booth radiant to place it in a transparent box. Outside, she took selfies with supporters.

Then came incumbent Emmanuel Macron, who shook dozens of hands – and was handed a small child to hold – on his journey from his family home in the seaside resort of Le Touquet on the English Channel to his polling station .

Inside, he greeted even more people, posed for photos with his wife Brigitte and voted with a wink at the cameras. The voting booths were protected by curtains in the red-white-and-blue of the French flag.

Around 48.8 million voters are eligible to take part in the second round, which is monitored across Europe. The first results are expected on Sunday evening.

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PARIS — France began voting in a second round of the presidential election on Sunday with repercussions for the future of Europe.

Incumbent centrist Emmanuel Macron is the favourite, but he is fighting a tough challenge from his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

Centrist Macron is asking voters to trust him for a second five-year term despite a presidency troubled by protests, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. A victory for Macron in this vote would make him the first French president in 20 years to win a second term.

The outcome of the vote in France, a nuclear-armed country with one of the largest economies in the world, could also have an impact on the conflict in Ukraine, as France has played a key role in diplomatic efforts and the support for sanctions against Russia.