The proEuropean centrist Emmanuel Macron has vowed to unite a divided France after winning a second term as French president in a decisive victory against the farrights Marine Le Pen who nonetheless won more than 13 million votes in a historic high for her antiimmigration party. Macron became the first French leader to win reelection for 20 years scoring 58.54% to Le Pens 41.46%. Addressing a victory rally at the foot of the Eiffel Tower where his supporters waved French and European flags Macron vowed to respond efficiently to the anger and disagreement of voters who chose the far right.
I know that a number of French people have voted for me today not to support my ideas but to stop the ideas of the far right he said and called on supporters to be kind and respectful to others because the country was riven by so much doubt so much division.
He added Im not the candidate of one camp any more but the president of all of us.
Macron beat Le Pen with a lower margin than the 66% he won against her in 2017. Turnout was also lower than five years ago with abstention estimated at a record 28%. Le Pen succeeded in delivering the far right its biggestever score in a French presidential election after campaigning on the cost of living crisis and promising a ban on the Muslim headscarf in public places as well as nationalist measures to give priority to nativeFrench people over others for jobs housing benefits and healthcare – policies Macron had criticised as racist and divisive. Le Pen called her score a shining victory in itself adding The ideas we represent are reaching new heights.
acrons victory was swiftly welcomed by EU leaders after a campaign the French president had described in its final days as a battle for Europe against the Eurosceptic Le Pen. The European Council president Charles Michel tweeted Bravo Emmanuel. In this turbulent period we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union. The European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said I am delighted to be able to continue our excellent cooperation. The German chancellor Olaf Scholz said French voters had delivered a strong message in favour of Europe. Macrons first foreign trip as president is expected to be to Berlin to see Scholz. Several hundred demonstrators from ultraleft groups took to the streets in some French cities to protest against Macrons reelection and Le Pens score. Police used tear gas to disperse gatherings in Paris Lyon and the western city of Rennes.