France's Le Pen steps down as party leader

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The politician, who has been married to his former school teacher Brigitte Trogneux since 2007, attacked the smears in his Têtu interview. Meanwhile, Benoit Hamon of the incumbent socialist party had less than 7 per cent voteshare and the conservative Francois Fillon, a former prime minister, had 19.9 per cent. In the twenty-four hours following the announcement confirming the final two candidates, Le Pen accounted for 61.5% of bets placed through Oddschecker, however the majority of money (77%) was placed on Macron.

The turnout at the polls was 77.77 percent - the lowest in a French presidential election for 15 years.

Macron garners 23.75 per cent of votes, while Le Pen gets 21.53 per cent in round 1 of French elections.

Ms Le Pen has promised to suspend the EU's open-border agreement on France's frontiers and expel foreigners who are on the watch lists of intelligence services.

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French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign has refused press accreditation to Russia's worldwide television outlet, according to a Monday report, calling RT pro-Moscow "propaganda".

Ms Le Pen has said in the past that she is not a candidate of her party, and emphasised her measures were not her party's, but her own.

Ms Le Pen's decision to take a leave of absence from the day-to-day management of the party appeared to be an attempt to portray herself as being above the narrow world of National Front politics and broaden her appeal to the wider electorate ahead of the crucial run-off vote. He said on Twitter that he would be casting his vote for the independent candidate.

Polls suggest ex-investment banker Macron would beat her by around 20 percentage points in a final round that will not feature a candidate from the mainstream left or right for the first time in six decades.

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Surveys projecting a second-round clash between Macron and Le Pen have consistently shown the centrist candidate winning by a comfortable margin.

United Kingdom shares joined in a European rally in equities following the first round of France's presidential vote.

Le Pen is campaigning on a nationalist platform that would curb immigration and weaken ties with the European Union. Emmanuel Macron's task is to persuade the French he has the gravitas and experience to be president.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron is still favourite to be elected the new President and can be backed at 1/6 to win the second round of voting.

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Our plan was about getting Nuge on the ice against Pavelski, Jumbo and Pat Marleau. "We were too wound up", said McLellan. It doesnt come easy. "Throughout the year, there have been points where we need to prove something to ourselves".

"In France, this is about France, of course". The presidential primaries mobilized a predictably small number of activists and voters, and produced candidates that were so weak or wounded that they undermined, rather than built the confidence of the larger electorates in each case.

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