Emmanuel Macron has won France’s presidential election, seeing off the challenge from far-right contender Marine Le Pen during Sunday’s runoff vote.
Macron is on course to win with 58.6% of the vote, according to interior ministry figures. Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally party (Rassemblement National in French), is set to received 41.4% of the vote. Some votes are yet to be counted, but the number outstanding is too small to influence the result in any meaningful way.
The result sees Macron become the first French president to win re-election in 20 years.
The contest was a rematch of the 2017 French presidential runoff, but Le Pen’s vote share was higher than the 33.9% she gained last time round, prompting unease over the direction French politics is moving in. Should National Rally manage to build on this momentum a presidency likely to send shockwaves across Europe is a real possibility in 2027.
For now opponents of the far-right party can breathe a little easier, with the immediate concern of Le Pen bringing disunity to Europe at a time when exactly the opposite is needed having been averted.
Macron acknowledged in his victory speech that many had voted for him purely to keep Le Pen out of power, promising to address the sense of many French that their living standards are slipping.
“Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come,” said the 44-year-old, adding “I’m not the candidate of one camp any more, but the president of all of us”.