Image credit- Marine Le Pen

French leader Emmanuel Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen are set to face off in the final vote on April 24. 

Image credit- Marine Le Pen

A flurry of early projections and exit polls showed incumbent Macron came first with 28.1-29.5% of the vote, followed by Le Pen on 23.3-24.4%. 

Image credit- Marine Le Pen

The surging cost of living and the Russia-Ukraine war have been front and center. 

Image credit- Marine Le Pen

Support for Macron had jumped following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and his mediation efforts earlier this year. 

Image credit- Marine Le Pen

Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon came third in the field of 12 with roughly 20% of the vote. 

Image credit- Marine Le Pen

Most of the mainstream candidates that failed to make the runoff immediately backed Macron after the exit polls came in. 

Image credit- Marine Le Pen

Mélenchon told his supporters there “must not be one single vote for Le Pen in the second round. 

Image credit- Marine Le Pen

Le Pen, seen as economically left-wing despite being very much affiliated with the far fight in France, has been highly focused on the cost of living.