nched to go head to head for the French presidency, centrist Emmanuel Macron clinching the top spot in round one on Sunday evening with the bulk of votes counted. And hot on his heels, far right leader Marine Le Pen. Reuters Bureau Chief in Paris says it's quite an achievement for M'sieur Macron.
>> He's 39. He'd be the youngest leader of France since Napoleon. His party didn't exist until a year ago. Even a few months ago, people were saying, how could he possibly put a government together? He's still got it all to do, though. There were plenty of bitter people from the republican's party, certainly some very bitter people on the socialist who did really, really badly.
He's got quite a lot of rallying of the troops to do if he's going to form an effective government.>> The race had been too close call up to the last minute. But pro-European Union Macron on 23.9% with 96% of votes counted and Le Pen leader of the anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front on 21.4%.
>> She's already on the attack there. She's calling Macron the money king. This is where he's vulnerable. He's got a background as an investment banker. He was educated in the elite schools of France. If she can manage to tar him with that brush then he is still vulnerable.
But she's got a bit of a mountain to climb. He's set to win with 60% of the vote so that's a long way for her to climb back in the space of two weeks.>> The second round run off is on the seventh of May. Whatever the outcome, Sunday's unprecedented results means a re-drawing of France's political landscape.
A republic which for 60 years has been dominated by mainstream groupings from the center-left and center-right.