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Could France elect a leader from the far right?

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The final round of the French presidential election on April 24 features a rematch of the 2017 runoff between Emmanuel Macron, the current officeholder, and Marine Le Pen, the far-right challenger of the National Front. The dynamics have changed since their last campaign, when Macron earned 66% of the vote to Le Pen’s 33%. Despite Le Pen’s political relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin—a photo of the pair is featured on Le Pen’s website—as well as her anti-immigrant and Euroskeptic positions, modelers, including those from The Economist, forecast that the election will be “tight.”

“I would not bet a lot of money on Macron, but I still think that’s the safer bet,” says Colin Brown, a Northeastern assistant teaching professor of political science who researches the impact of first- and second-generation migrants on elections, particularly in Western Europe. 

Macron is backed by the main challengers who were defeated in the first round on Sunday—with the exception of Éric Zemmour, who ran to the right of Le Pen. In the second and final round, he will go head-to-head against Le Pen.

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