Le Pen sees French presidential vote 'surprise'

Andrew Cummings
April 26, 2017

For Le Pen, it's the ideal example of how European elitists like Macron are selling out French workers with their commitments to free trade.

The factory operated by Whirlpool, a USA multinational company, is threatened with outsourcing to Poland.

If the anti-EU, anti-immigration, protectionist Le Pen was president "it would be a disaster for France and Europe, and bad for Switzerland", Socialist MP Martin Naef told 20 Minuten.

Many pollsters had placed him second to Le Pen in the opening round; however Macron eventually garnered more votes than Le Pen.

"There is a revolt of the people against the elite" seen in Britain's Brexit vote and "probably" in the election of United States president Donald Trump, Ms Le Pen said in a TF-1 television show.

By avoiding even to mention the name of Le Pen, he presented himself as the leader who could serve his country's national interest avoiding risky choices such as isolationism.

While Macron had arranged to meet Whirlpool workers' union representatives without actually visiting the plant, Le Pen turned up unannounced outside the plant and posed for selfies with workers and attacked her rival. Emmanuel Macron is not fighting in his league.

"I am on the workers' side, here in the auto park, not in restaurants in Amiens".

As news broke of the Le Pen visit, Macron announced he would also go to the plant to meet with its employees. Macron is in favour of France's membership of the European Union, while Le Pen wants the country out of the European bloc.

After winning Sunday's contest with 24.1 percent to Le Pen's 21.3 percent, Macron gave an exuberant victory speech followed by a high-profile celebration at La Rotonde bistro in Paris, drawing criticism from some quarters.

French presidential election candidate Marine Le Pen attends a ceremony for slain police officer Xavier Jugele, at the Paris Police headquarters on Tuesday.

In the rest of French-speaking Switzerland Macron narrowly beat Fillion, with the two candidates taking 33 percent and 31 percent of the vote respectively. "I will defend the progressive camp to the end".

Le Pen on Monday stepped down as leader of the Front National. After a meeting with Macron, she said that he'd promised to keep a close eye on the situation but what she really wanted was talks with factory managers who are refusing to discuss the workers' situation.

But after the political shocks of Britain's exit from the European Union and Donald Trump's unlikely rise to the White House, analysts say a late-stage surge by Le Pen is still possible, if improbable.

Conservative leader François Fillon and Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon nearly immediately called their supporters to vote for Macron while conceding defeat. "I am the presidential candidate", she said on French public television news, adding that she wanted to be "above partisan considerations".

"We need to be extremely serious and mobilised, and not to think it's a done deal, because a vote is earned, it's fought for", said Hollande, who on Monday had urged voters to back Macron and called Le Pen a "risk" for France.

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