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Marsh on Monday: Macron scores a huge win for the center in Europe

The center ground has held in France as presidential favorite Emmanuel Macron, the former economy minister, emerged Sunday with an unexpectedly strong lead over far-right leader Marine Le Pen ahead of the run-off to choose the French head of state on May 7.

In a first-round poll that will be greeted by financial markets and mainstream European politicians, Macron came out on top with around 24% of the vote ahead of Le Pen, the anti-European Union National Front chief, with about 21%. The election has dominated conversations in Washington on the last few days during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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