×

France gives nod to EU project through first round of presidential elections, says analyst

The first round of France's presidential election — which concluded with centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen qualifying for the May second-round vote — showed that the country is giving the European Union project a chance, a Brookings Institution fellow told CNBC.

Speaking to CNBC's "Street Signs" on Monday, Philippe Le Corre said the high voter turnout of about 80 percent indicated the French people did not want to risk their country turning anti-globalization and leaving the EU.

"I think a lot of people didn't take the chance… Not just the expats, but the majority of young professionals and urban voters have decided to give a chance to Europe and to the European project in particular, rather than give a chance to a backward candidate that would close the borders and leave the European Union," he said.

Final figures by the French Interior Ministry showed Macron earned 23.75 percent of the vote, while Le Pen won 21.53 percent.

Le Corre said with defeated candidates now throwing their support behind Macron, Le Pen faces an uphill task in the second round of voting next month.

"It's not just the establishment. The democrats, the center-right, the center-left will all vote for Macron. They will show up because they don't want to take a risk of seeing their country going backwards and turning its face against globalization and European Union," he said.