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Paris: Police clashed with left wing demonstrators in Paris on Sunday shortly after early projections from the France's presidential elections showed far-right leader Marine Le Pen had made it to a runoff vote.

With 34% of the vote counted, the Interior Ministry said Ms Le Pen was leading on 24.6% followed by Mr Macron on 21.9%.

They will contest the run-off on May 7.

"I solemnly call for a vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round in order to beat the Front National and obstruct the disastrous project of Marine Le Pen that would take France backwards and divide the French people".

He pledged to unite "patriots" behind his agenda to renew French politics and modernise the country against Le Pen and "the threat of nationalists".

Socialist candidate Manuel Valls, whose party holds a majority in the legislature and whose President Francois Hollande is the most unpopular in modern French record-keeping, got just 6 percent.

"It's good that Emmanuel Macron was successful with his course for a strong European Union and social market economy", Steffen Seibert said in a tweet.

But for many Fillon supporters, Le Pen's call for an nearly total ban on immigration is unrealistic, and her economic views echo left-wing calls for bigger public pensions, protection of the bloated civil service, and more government spending on a variety of programs.

Pictures of waves of migrants coming ashore on European beaches resonate powerfully in the north of France, where the landscape is dotted with shuttered factories.

Marine Le Pen of the conservative National Front Party and progressive former French economic minster Emmanuel Macron will face each other in the second round of France's presidential election. Outgoing President Fran├žois Hollande, who signed the same-sex marriage law, announced late past year he would not run for re-election amid an approval rating that was less than 10 percent.

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A snap poll released late Sunday suggested Macron would defeat Le Pen by more than 20 percentage points in the second round.

The most unpredictable French election ever yesterday saw the unusual results.

Macron is a free trade supporter and campaigned in favor of the EU's new agreement with Canada. "We have come here to protest against the pantomime of this election", a demonstrator told AFP.

The selection of Le Pen and Macron presents voters with the starkest possible choice between two diametrically opposed visions of the EU's future and France's place in it.

While Ms Le Pen faces the run-off as the underdog, it is already stunning that she brought her once-taboo party so close to the Elysee Palace.

At a rally on Sunday night, Le Pen spoke among her supporters and said that she is offering "the great alternative" in the Presidential race.

Security agencies in France were placed on red alert as the nation voted for a new president, amid fears of fresh jihadist terror attacks and riots in the Parisian suburbs.

"The major issue of this election is runaway globalisation, which is putting our civilisation in danger", she told supporters.

"Either we continue to disintegrate without any borders, without any controls, unfair worldwide competition, mass immigration and the free circulation of terrorists, or you choose France with borders", she added. "Wishing him all the best for the next two weeks".

Macron also drew immediate support from his defeated rivals from the Socialists and Republicans. "The assumption now is that centrist voters will rally around Macron, denying Le Pen the presidency and hence this will effectively be a pro-establishment, pro-European result which will be positive for risk appetite on Monday morning", said Rabobank's head of rates strategy in London, Richard McGuire.


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