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PARIS (CBSMiami) – France is one step closer to a new President after the first round of votes on Sunday.
In first place – Emmanuel Macron. He’s a former investment banker and economics minister whose agenda borrowed ideas from the left and the right – without the backing of an official party.
“In one year,” Macron told supporters. “We have changed the face of French politics.”
Macron has never run for office before, but he’s used to breaking the mold.
At 16 he fell in love with his high school drama teacher, more than 20 years his senior.
Now at 39 and 64 – they’ve been married for a decade.
In second place – the far right wing candidate Marine Le Pen.
She told cheering crowds it was a historic result.
Le Pen’s populist promises will sound familiar to Americans, such as shutting down immigration and re-negotiating trade agreements to protect jobs at home.
She also wants to follow Britian’s lead – and take France out of the European Union.
A crowded field of 11 candidates and a scandal-ridden campaign left voters like Anne Sophie Parachamp frustrated.
“The campaign was a mess, I’ve never seen that in France,” Parachamp said.
Analysts are already saying Le Pen has no chance of winning, especially as a number of other mainstream candidates who lost have thrown their support to Macron to block Le Pen.
The presidential runoff is set for May 7th.