Emmanuel Macron has been hailed as France’s new president after exit polls gave him a clear victory over far-right Marine Le Pen.
This is it. The final electoral battle in France is finally upon us.
He acknowledged divisions in society which drove people to “vote to the extreme”, and said he will work for all of France.
Ms Le Pen said her National Front party needed to renew itself and that she would start the “deep transformation of our movement”, vowing to lead it into upcoming parliamentary elections.
Macron has won an estimated 65.5% of the vote based on early counts from selected constituencies, compared to just 34.5% for former Front National leader Le Pen.
While May “warmly” congratulated Macron in a statement from her office, Trump took to twitter to wish the president elect, BBC reported.
Macron’s victory strengthens France’s place as a central pillar of the European Union, and marked the third time in six months – following elections in Austria and the Netherlands – that European voters shot down far-right populists who wanted to restore borders across Europe.
Whoever wins will open a new chapter in French politics, after the big left- and right-wing movements that have ruled France for decades both suffered humiliating defeats in the election’s first round.
France’s government cyber security agency, ANSSI, is investigating the hack, which Mr Macron’s team said was aimed at destabilising the vote.
Marine Le Pen has distanced the party from the racist rhetoric of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front and who ran it until 2011, when his daughter took over. A record 12% of voters cast a blank or “spoiled” ballot. Macron, a political newcomer, is set to become the youngest president in modern French history.
Macron’s campaign confirmed the security breach shortly afterwards and said that fake documents had been inserted among genuine campaign material in order to spread what it called “misinformation”.
By midday, both candidates had voted, Macron in Le Touquet on the north coast, and Le Pen in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont.
Voters line up at a polling station in Marseille, southern France, on May 7, 2017 during the second round of the French presidential election.
In her concession speech on Sunday, Le Pen said that she would head the French opposition in the name of the country’s “patriots”. “France will need you more than ever in the months to come”.
“We congratulate President-elect Macron and the people of France on their successful presidential election”. “We said in January that this was going to be a make-or-break year for Europe and this is a positive”. His own political movement, En Marche (“On the move”), was formed just past year and this will be the first time it has fielded parliamentary candidates. It’s been a long and certainly interesting battle in France, and the country will be facing a fairly different future than they are used to when this is over, no matter who wins.
Macron will be inaugurated on May 14, when Hollande is expected to step down.
Macron, a pro-European centrist and former banker, takes over a divided country where almost half of voters backed extremist candidates – critical of the European Union, globalization and “elites” – in the first round of the election.
French voters in overseas territories casted their votes on Saturday, but the results will be only known after all votes are casted on the mainland.