French election: Why is Marine Le Pen in the news?

  • 25 April 2017
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Why are people talking about Marine Le Pen? (21 April 2017)

Marine Le Pen has got through the first round of voting in the race to become the next president of France.

The other candidate who also got through is Emmanuel Macron.

This means that these two candidates will go head to head in a second round of voting, which will take place on 7 May.

Adult voters in France will choose which of these two candidates they want to be the next leader of their country.

Find out more about the French presidential election here.

Who is Marine Le Pen?

In a presidential election, some candidates will represent political parties - and this has been the case with Marine Le Pen.

The party she represented is called the Front National, which her father Jean-Marie Le Pen founded in the 1970s.

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Image caption Her father Jean-Marie Le Pen founded the Front National

Her opponent, Emmanuel Macron, leads a political movement called En Marche!, which means On the move! in French.

This was Marine Le Pen's sixth year in charge of the Front National, but she has just stepped down as leader to focus on the presidential election.

It is not the first time she has tried to become president.

She came third in the presidential election in 2012, after just under 1 in 5 French voters said they wanted her to win.

This time, she's down to the final two.

Why is she being talked about?

Both En Marche!'s Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen have different ideas about how the country should be run.

Some people who don't support the Front National have accused it of being a racist party because of some of its ideas.

Marine Le Pen worked hard to try to stop people thinking that about the party.

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Image caption These supporters want Marine Le Pen to become the next president of France

She even kicked her father out of the party in 2015 because of racist comments he had made.

As a result, the Front National has more support than it used to, even though there are still people who do not support what it stands for.

This election is significant because Marine Le Pen has done better than the Front National has done in the past.

What do voters think?

People have divided opinions about Marine Le Pen and how she wants to run the country. Some people really like her ideas, while others do not.

For example, one of her big plans - if she wins - is to limit the amount of people moving to France.

Some who don't agree with her and her party think that her ideas about immigration are racist. Others agree with limiting immigration in the way she wants to.

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Image caption People have different opinions about how Marine Le Pen wants to run the country

She has also said that she wants to make sure that jobs in France go to French people first.

Those who like her think that this is important for French people, but those who don't like this idea think that it is unfair.

So what will happen?

We do not know who will win the French election just yet.

There were 11 candidates to begin with - and now there are only two left.

Voters in France will decide on 7 May who they want to put in charge.

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