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A presidential election on April 24th and a run-off on May 8th to elect the President of the French Republic. The incumbent president, Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party, was eligible to run for a second (and final) term but chose not to, primarily due to low polling numbers and lack of party support.
The first round resulted in none of the candidates getting the required 50% to win, so a second round was held with the top two candidate, Alain Juppe of the Republicans and Marine La Pen of the National Front, moving to a second round, which Juppe narrowly won.
|Nominee||Alain Juppe||Marine La Pen|
|Party||The Republicans||National Front|
Despite initial speculation that he may run again, incumbent president Francois Hollande decided not to run in his party's primary. Former Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who many viewed as being on the more moderate left side of the party, defeated former Lille Mayor Martine Aubry.
Despite being a new face for the party, Montebourg could not shake the image of being the establishment candidate from a very unpopular government.
The nomination for the centre-right Republican Party was much more heavily contested. From the beginning, former President Nicholas Sarkozy was considered the front runner. The other prominent candidates for the primary included former Prime Minster Alain Juppe, Member of Parliament Xavier Bertrand, former mayor of Bordeaux Francois Fillon, Member of the European Parliament Bruno Le Maire, and Member of Parliament Nathalie Morizet. Of particular press interest during the campaign was Morizet's campaign, which focused on an ecologically-based moderate conservatism unique within the party. Public interest in her especially flared after she withdrew before the second round and endorsed Alain Juppe over heavily-favored front-runner Nicholas Sarkozy. Sarkozy was heavily defeated in the next round when almost all of the other candidate's supporters rallied to Juppe.
|Candidate||1st Round||2nd Round|
|Bruno Le Maire||11.2%||-|
Nicholas Sarkozy, incensed at the betrayal of his party colleagues, withdrew his support from Juppe and formed his own party, Popular Forum. However, he could not organize a campaign quick enough to contest the presidential election, although he would go on to run his party in the next legislative elections later that year.
Juppe was able to cast himself as the moderate candidate in the election, especially with the rise of the Greens and National Front. He primarily focused his criticisms on the government's economic record.
The leader of the National Front, Marine La Pen, was acclaimed as the candidate for her party. Initially, the media speculated that M. La Pen's niece, NF Member of Parliament Marion La Pen, might challenge her for the nomination, but these rumors proved to be unfounded, especially after the younger La Pen endorsed her aunt for president.
La Pen focused her campaign on populist economic issues rather then immigration as expected, and many pundits believed this was her attempt to moderate the once radical image of her party.
Cecile Duflot, former minister, was acclaimed as the Green Party's candidate. She focused her campaign on, without surprise, environmental issues, but was also able to maneuver herself as the primary progressive critic of the government on other issues such as housing and welfare.
Other candidates included 2012 candidates Francois Bayrou, who ran for the centrist Democratic Movement, Jean-Luc Melenchon, who ran for the left-wing Left Front, Jean-Christopher Lagarde who ran for the centre-right Union of Democrats and Independents, and Nathalie Arthaud, who ran for the new far-left Worker's-Anticapitalist Alliance.
|Candidate||Party||1st Round Vote||1st Round Percent||2nd Round Vote||2nd Round Percent|
|Marine La Pen||National Front||9,524,190||25.55%||15,947,221||46.19%|
|Jean-Christopher Largarde||Union of Democrats and Independents||2,401,672||6.42%||-||-|
|Jean-Luc Melenchon||Left Front||1,583,492||4.23%||-||-|
|Francois Bayrou||Democratic Movement||1,154,873||3.09%||-||-|
|Nathalie Arthaud||Worker's Anticapitalist Alliance||854,185||2.29%||-||-|