French presidential election: How Macron is predicted to win and face Le Pen in the second round of voting

Ashley Kirk
French election polls and odds tracker

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are set to progress from the first round in the race for the French presidency.

The two candidates will now face off in the second round, where Macron is widely tipped to take the French presidency.

French Presidential Election - Exit Poll

According to recent polling by Elabe, he would take 65 per cent of the vote in a second-round run-off against Le Pen. 

It is expected that Macron - a centrist - should be able to attract a wider spectrum of second-round voters than Le Pen, pulling in left-leaning voters from Hamon and Mélenchon as well as those leaning to the right that voted Fillon in the first round.

Macron v Le Pen second round scenario

Macron, the former protégé of François Hollande, is now the bookies' favourite to become president, with the last average of the polls before the election showing him marginally ahead of Le Pen. 

Meanwhile, communist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon had been surging in the polls and drew level with François Fillon in third place - and within around four points of the winner.

The Telegraph's poll tracker had been following how the race was shaping up, taking an average of the last eight national polls for the first round of the presidency.

French presidential election polling

Turnout was estimated to hit 81 per cent

Polling institute Ifop estimated that the final turnout will be at a very reasonable 81 per cent. 

While higher than the 79.5 per cent turnout in 2012 that saw François Hollande elected, it is around the average seen in French presidential elections. 

Five of the nine elections since the first direct presidential election in 1965 have seen a higher turnout than this. 

French election 2017 turnout estimate

How the French election works

A word of caution: just because a candidate won the first round, it doesn't mean that they're going to win the presidency.

Candidates are pitted against each other twice in the election, with the first round of the vote taking place on April 23.

The top two candidates will face off in a second run-off on May 7. 

Of the nine elections since the first direct presidential election in the Fifth Republic in 1965, three have seen the winner of the first round lose out in the second. This led to the elections of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1974, François Mitterrand in 1981 and Jacques Chirac in 1995.

How the French presidential election works

What are the betting odds for the French presidential race?

Macron is still the bookies' favourite to become president, with the last average of the polls before the election showing him considerably ahead of Le Pen. 

For those who have lost faith in political polling, asking people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is the best way to predict elections.

After Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the 2015 General Election, many now believe that political betting markets can better predict elections, relying on the wisdom of a crowd of punters to sort and weigh all the probabilities.

According to Coral, the odds for the next French President are:

  • Emmanual Macron, Independent: 1/6
  • Marine Le Pen, Front National: 7/2

What happened in the 2012 French presidential election?

François Hollande became French president after beating Nicolas Sarkozy, claiming 51.6 per cent in the second round of voting.

10.3 million people voted for the Socialist Party's Hollande in the first round of voting – claiming 63 of France's 106 departments – while 18 million sided with him in the second round.

Sarkozy, the incumbent president and representing the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) party, secured 16.9 million votes in the second round of voting.

Marine Le Pen, the Front National's candidate, secured 17.9 per cent of the vote, placing her in third place. 

French presidential election results 2012

How our poll tracker works

Our poll tracker takes in national polls from OpinionWay, Ifop-Fiducial, Elabe, Harris and BVA Interactive. Their individual polls, while of different sample sizes, take in a representative sample. Their individual margin of errors vary from +/-0.8 per cent to +/-3.3 per cent. 

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