24 April, 2017
Opinion polls released after the first-round showed the pro-business moderniser would easily beat Le Pen, who has hardened her anti-immigration and anti-Europe rhetoric over the last week.
Fillon won 19.9 percent of the vote, close to the 19.4 percent for extreme-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who did not immediately lend his support to Macron for the run-off.
To avoid a runoff one of the candidates today would need to garner more than 50 percent of the vote.
Macron, 39, a former investment banker who has served as economy minister, has vowed to deepen cooperation across the European Union.
Le Pen has proposed holding a referendum on France's membership of the European Union, limiting immigration, increasing control on the country's borders and expelling Islamic extremists.
To the cheers from supporters, he said: "I want to be the president of patriots against the threat of nationalists. The middle is stronger than the populists believe!"
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed similar good wishes for the second round, his spokesman said in Brussels.
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"I will vote for Emmanuel Macron".
"They (the people) chose to put me to the first place in the first round of this vote, and I appreciate the honor and great responsibility that was bestowed on me", Macron continued. "The challenge is to open a new page in our political life and to take action so that everyone his able to find his or her place in France and in Europe". "You will get a France that protects the people, we will not have the free circulation of terrorists".
A total of 46.87 million voters were registered to vote. For the first time since the end of World War II, an establishment right or left-wing party will not control the presidency. "That proves that France in a way, this evening, is less of a monarchy and more a democracy".
A nuclear power with a seat on the U.N. Security Council and tens of thousands of troops around the world, France is a key US ally in the campaign against the Islamic State group and a major diplomatic player.
The founder of the political movement "En Marche!", Emmanuel Macron, announced his victory in the first round of French presidential election, saying that he was determined "to become the president for all the French people".
Every election since 1965 has gone to a runoff.