As reported by Censor.NET citing CNN, France's defeated political establishment has begun to rally against far-right leader Le Pen as she goes head-to-head against political novice Macron in the final race for the French presidency.
Macron, a pro-European centrist, took first place with 24.01 percent of the first round voting, while the anti-immigrant, anti-EU Le Pen came second on 21.30 percent, according to final results released Monday by the French Interior Ministry.
Hollande, whose ratings have been in the doldrums for several years now, said on Monday he would vote for Macron.
François Fillon, the mainstream Republican candidate whose campaign foundered amid corruption allegations, emerged swiftly from his defeat with words of support for Macron.
"I promise you, extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France," he said, describing the National Front as a party of "violence" and "intolerance."
"We have to choose what is preferable for our country, and I am not going to rejoice. Abstention is not in my genes, especially when an extremist party is close to power," he said. "There is no other choice but to vote against the far right."
He argued that Le Pen's economic and social programs would bankrupt the country, particularly if France dropped the euro as its currency, as the far-right leader has threatened.
The Socialist Party's candidate, Benoit Hamon, also warned against a Le Pen victory. "I appeal to you in the strongest terms to beat the National Front by voting for Emmanuel Macron, even though he is not part of the Left," Hamon wrote on Twitter.
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted his support for Macron, calling on voters to back him in the second round "to combat the National Front's disastrous project to take France backwards and to divide the French people."