Le Pen Won a Plurality of Female Voters in Election Day Poll

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Macron has also come under fire from potential allies and Le Pen for acting as if victory next month was already in the bag after visiting a restaurant on the Left Bank on Sunday night after his first round triumph, handing ammunition to his opponents who described it as shallow, arrogant behaviour.

"We've forgotten that it's still Marine Le Pen who's in the second round".

Political leaders from France's two shocked mainstream parties on the right and left have endorsed Mr Macron, including the unpopular outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande and defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon.

"I am not disappointed, I am very satisfied with this result for the simple reason that for the first time in many years the French people have two views, two political visions ...which for sure are very different, practically two choices of society, " Le Pen told the TF1 broadcaster. Speaking from the Elysee presidential palace, Hollande said that Le Pen's platform of pulling out of the euro would devastate the country's economy and threaten French liberty. Le Pen has accused her rival Macron of being "weak" on the topic of Islamic terrorism.

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Jean-Marie Le Pen, who repeatedly has been convicted of crimes based on anti-Semitism and racism, founded the far-right National Front party that his daughter Marine now leads.

She contends Macron's plan for France amounts to "fratricide" because, she says, it pits people and companies against each other, with the strongest winning.

European Union lawmakers have already sanctioned Ms Le Pen for misspending European Union funds and her monthly salary has been slashed by half.

"Tonight, I am not the president of the National Front, I am the presidential candidate, the one who wants to gather all the French around a project of hope, of prosperity, of security", she said in an interview on French television.

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Le Pen with her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 2007.

Le Pen appears to have a mountain to climb, however.

"Let's promote the "eating French" especially in (school) canteens where our children must take advantage of healthy, quality products", she said. "I am only the candidate for the presidency". 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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