Macron, Le Pen to face off following first round of France presidential election

No candidate reached the necessary 50 percent to avoid a runoff in Sunday's French election, meaning the top two candidates will head to a runoff.

Sunday's vote featured 11 candidates, but now attention will turn to May 7 for the second round of voting.

And for the first time in French history, no mainstream candidate will be on the ballot: May's runoff will be between independent candidate Emmanuel Macron and right-winger Marine Le Pen.

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France's far-right Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen (C) holds a press conference at a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon on February 21, 2017.

(Photo by Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and candidate for French 2017 presidential election, shakes hands with Lebanon's President Michel Aoun (R) at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, February 20, 2017.

(Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS)

France's far-right Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen (R) holds a press conference at a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon on February 21, 2017.

(Photo by Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and candidate for the French 2017 presidential elections, shakes hands with Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai of Lebanon, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and the Whole Levant, as French deputy Gilbert Collard looks on, in Bkerke, north of Beirut, Lebanon February 21, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and candidate for French 2017 presidential election, rejects a headscarf for her meeting Lebanon's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abed el-Lateef Daryan in Beirut, Lebanon February 21, 2017.

(REUTERS/Aziz Taher)

French journalists and television hosts David Pujadas (C), Lea Salame (L) and French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen (R) pose prior to take part in the show 'L'Emission politique', in the studios of French television channel France 2 in Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, on January 9, 2017. / AFP / Thomas SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and candidate for the French 2017 presidential election, attends the 2-day FN political rally to launch the presidential campaign in Lyon, France February 5, 2017.

(REUTERS/Robert Pratta)

French far-right Front National (FN) party president, member of European Parliament and candidate for French 2017 presidential election, Marine Le Pen (C) stands next to a man dressed as a Santa Claus and French National Front (FN) vice-president Florian Philippot (R) as she visits a Christmas market in Paris, France, December 8, 2016.

(REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader and candidate for French 2017 presidential election, looks at French deputy Gilbert Collard as she speaks during a news conference at a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon February 21, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)

BEIRUT, LEBANON - FEBRUARY 20 : Marine Le Pen (R), the leader of France's far-right Front National political party and French MP Gilbert Collard (L) meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun (not seen) at the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon on February 20, 2017. (Photo by Ratib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Germany's Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry and France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen (R) arrive for a European far-right leaders meeting to discuss about the European Union, in Koblenz, Germany, January 21, 2017.

(REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

TOPSHOT - French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen waves as she walks on the beach during her visit in Nice, southeastern France, on February 13, 2017. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party leader, poses near a horse as she visits the Horse show in Villepinte, France, December 2, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)

LYON, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 04: French far right National Front (FN) political party's leader, Member of the European Parliament, and candidate for the 2017 French Presidential Election Marine Le Pen delivers a speech during her meeting at the occasion of her 'Assises de la pr�identielle' at the Cite internationale on February 4, 2017 in Lyon, France. Nearly 3000 supporters came to listen the political program of Marine Le Pen titled '144 Presidential Commitments'. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard/IP3/Getty Images)
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Macron, a political novice, earned 24 percent in Sunday's first-round ballot and Le Pen gaining 22 percent of the vote, Reuters reported.

"We're turning a page in French political history," Macron told the French news agency AFP. Supporters were waiting for Macron to speak as of late Sunday afternoon.

Socialist candidate Benoit Hamo and scandal-ridden Conservative candidate François Fillon conceded defeat Sunday afternoon and threw their support behind Macron, condemning the nationalist right-wing views of Le Pen and her National Front party.

"Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France," Fillon said. "There is no other choice than to vote against the far right. I will vote for Emmanuel Macron. I consider it my duty to tell you this frankly. It is up to you to reflect on what is best for your country, and for your children."

Marion Maréchal Le Pen, Marine Le Pen's niece and a member of the French Parliament, said that the National Front's presence in a runoff was a big deal for her party.

"For fifteen years, there has not been a pro-sovereignty candidate in the second round of a presidential election," she said. This is a great ideological victory."

Marine Le Pen added her own comments later that afternoon when she addressed supporters in her home constituency of Hénin-Beaumont. She told them that they were choosing between unchecked globalization and homeland-defending nationalism.

"French people must seize this historical opportunity that has opened to them because what is at stake in this election is savage globalization, which jeopardizes our civilization," she said to a roaring crowd.

The French Interior Ministry reported that 69.42 percent of France's 47 million eligible voters participated in Sunday's election, which is a slight decline from 2012.

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