Watch CNBC's coverage of the first round of France’s presidential election

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will face one another in the final round of the French presidential election on May 7, according to exit polls released at 8:00 p.m. local time.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron of the independent En Marche party secured the lion's share of votes in Sunday's preliminary election at 24 percent, with the far-right's Marine Le Pen of France's National Front party trailing narrowly behind at 22 percent, according to Harris poll estimates.