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What happens now in the French election, will there be a TV debate?

We also look at when the country will vote in their next MPs - a step which will determine how easy (or not) it is for the new president to make changes

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen topped the polls in the first round of the presidential election on April 10 Pic: Anait / Shutterstock

The French people have voted for Emmanuel Macron (La République En Marche) and Marine Le Pen (Rassemblement National) to face each other in the second round of the presidential election on April 24 (Sunday). 

The two topped the polls in the first round yesterday, winning 27.6% and 23.41% respectively (with 97% of ballots counted). 

When will campaigning start for the second round?

The pair will be able to officially re-start their campaigns to convince the public to vote for them from Friday (April 15), lasting until the following Friday (April 22). This includes putting up posters, sending out flyers, making TV appearances, etc. However, most candidates break this rule and start unofficially campaigning immediately after the first-round results are known. 

They will face each other in a televised debate, planned for April 20. 

When will we know the results?

Results will come in on the evening of April 24, with more clarity the following morning. 

On April 27 the new president will be officially announced. 

When will the new president take office?

Power is transferred at the latest on the last day of the current president’s term, which is May 13, 2022. 

Are there any more elections?

The next elections (les législatives) are on June 12 and June 19 to elect the 577 parliamentary MPs. 

This is sometimes called the third round, as the political make-up of the lower house is what will make it easy or difficult for the new president to pass legislation. 

Why is there a second round?

It is often said that the first round is when the French vote with their hearts, and the second (deuxième tour) with their heads, to choose between the two candidates who got the most votes in the first round.

To be elected outright in the first round, a candidate must get 50% or more of the votes, which must represent at least 25% of those eligible to vote.

This has only happened once: in 1848, when Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte won 74% of votes.

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