French President Emmanuel Macron said in his victory speech on Sunday that his next five-year term would be different and vowed that “no one will be left behind”.
Because each of us counts for more than just ourselves,” said Macron. “It makes the French people such a unique force that I love so much and am so proud to serve again.”
Mr Macron will win back the French presidency with 58 percent of the vote, compared to 42 percent for his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
Just as polling stations were closing across France tonight, a normally reliable exit poll of voters showed that President Macron was the winner.
The news was met with relief in Brussels and other European Union capitals, including Dublin, as Le Pen threatened division and instability.
President Macron strongly supports EU policies such as post-Covid economic development.
But Ms Le Pen had pledged major changes to the cornerstones of policy within the bloc, signaling an imminent collision course with the European Union.
Allies in the Western NATO military alliance questioned Ms Le Pen’s involvement at a time of war in Ukraine.
The first projections showed that Macron received around 57-58% of the vote. Such estimates are usually accurate, but can be fine-tuned as official results arrive from around the country.
Le Pen, the defeated far-right challenger, conceded but said: “Tonight’s result is in itself a remarkable victory (for us).”
“Emmanuel Macron will do nothing to mend the rifts that divide our country and make our compatriots suffer.”
“I fear that the five-year term that is now beginning will not break with the brutal methods of the previous ones. To avoid the monopolization of power by the few, I will continue my commitment to France and the US more than ever.” French people with the energy, perseverance and affection you know me for.”
The victory of centrist, pro-European Union Macron would be hailed by allies as a respite for mainstream politics, which have been shattered in recent years by Britain’s exit from the European Union, the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the rise of a new generation of… Politicians became nationalist leaders.
Macron will be joining a small club – only two French presidents before him have managed to secure a second term. But his margin to win appears to be narrower than his first win over Le Pen in 2017, underscoring how many French remain unfazed by him and his national record.
That disillusionment was reflected in voter turnout figures, with France’s main pollsters saying the abstention rate was likely to settle at around 28%, the highest since 1969.
Against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions that have exacerbated fuel price hikes, Le Pen’s campaign targeted the rising cost of living as Macron’s weak point.
She promised sharp cuts in fuel taxes, a zero-percent sales tax on essential items from pasta to nappies, income exemptions for young workers and a French-first attitude to jobs and welfare.
Macron, meanwhile, referenced her past admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin to show that she could not be trusted on the world stage, while insisting she still harbored plans to pull France out of the European Union – something that she denies. Read the full story
‘CONVENTION’ IN PROGRESS?
In the latter part of the campaign, as he sought the support of left-wing voters, Macron downplayed an earlier pledge to let the French work longer and said he was open to discussing plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.
As viewer polls showed after last week’s heated televised debate between the two, Le Pen’s policy – which included a proposal to ban people from wearing Muslim headscarves in public – remained too extreme for many French people.
Ex-Commercial Banker Macron’s decision to run for the presidency in 2017 and build his own grassroots movement from scratch has turned old certainties about French politics on its head – something that could hit him again in June’s general election.
Rather than limiting the rise of radical forces as he had announced, Macron’s bipartisan centrism has hastened the electoral disintegration of the mainstream left and right parties, whose two candidates together garnered just 6.5% of the vote in the first round on March 10.
A notable winner was far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon, who scored 22% in the first round and has already laid claim to becoming Macron’s prime minister in an awkward “cohabitation” if his group does well in June’s vote.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/macron-pledges-next-five-years-will-be-different-as-he-wins-second-presidential-term-by-defeating-le-pen-41583313.html Macron promises the next five years will be different as he wins the second presidential term by defeating Le Pen