NPR

Who's Who In France's Wild Presidential Election

Entrenched politicians have been swept aside, and fringe candidates and untested newcomers have filled the void. Four front-runners lead the field of 11 in Sunday's first round of voting.
French Presidential candidates: Jean-Luc Melenchon (left), Francois Fillon, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Source: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP and Sylvain Lefevre

The French go to the polls Sunday to cast ballots in the first round of a political race like no other in France's recent history: Entrenched politicians have been swept aside, with fringe candidates and untested newcomers filling the void.

After Sunday, the field of 11 presidential candidates will be narrowed down to two contenders, who will face each other in a runoff on May 7.

The top four candidates offer starkly opposing visions for the country. Yet they are so close in the polls that the race is impossible to predict.

Here are the front-runners candidates and their platforms:


The Political Newcomer

Emmanuel Macron currently leads the polls, with an estimated 23 percent of the vote.

The 39-year-old former investment banker founded his political movement — En Marche, or On The Move — last August after stepping

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Building A Better Mosquito Trap — One Scientist Thinks He's Done It
A researcher in Australia has invented a low-tech, insecticide-free trap that might be able to reduce bites from a particularly pesky mosquito in some neighborhoods.
NPR7 min read
The Five Lives Of 'Tha Carter V'
After years of mystery, excitement and public tumult, Lil Wayne's long-delayed album is nearly here. As you prepare to listen, here are a few things to keep in mind about where the rapper's been.
NPR1 min read
Instagram Co-Founders To Step Down
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resigned from the popular photo-sharing app company Tuesday, saying they plan to leave in the coming weeks to pursue other projects.