Eleven candidates qualified for first round of French election

20:04   18 March 2017    1132

Eleven candidates will participate in France’s two-round presidential election, which will be held on April 23 and May 7, the nation’s top court said in a statement.

The contenders include independents Emmanuel Macron, Francois Asselineau, Jacques Cheminade and Jean Lassalle, along with far-left candidates Jean-Luc Melenchon, Philippe Poutou, Nathalie Arthaud, according to the Constitutional Council, which oversees the organization of the election. The others are Socialist Benoit Hamon, Republican Francois Fillon and far-right candidates Marine Le Pen, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.

The number of candidates, each of whom must gather over 500 endorsements from elected local politicians to qualify for the race, is in the average range this time compared with prior elections. The 2002 presidential race saw a record 16 contenders qualify.

National Front leader Le Pen is leading first-round polls, ahead of Macron, the 39-year-old independent candidate who created his political movement less than a year ago. Republican Fillon, who was the favorite until January, is trailing Macron by 8 percentage points, according to Friday’s rolling daily survey by pollster Ifop. All polls show Le Pen would be defeated in the run-off.


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