Macron has taken 58% of the vote to her 42% in a narrower victory than their previous contest in 2017, projections based on real results show
The pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron has vowed to unite a divided France after winning a second term as French president in a decisive victory against the far-right’s Marine Le Pen, who nonetheless won more than 12 million votes in a historic high for her anti-immigration party.
Macron became the first French leader to win re-election for 20 years, scoring a clear margin of 58.5% to 41.5%, according to initial projected results by Ipsos for France Televisions.
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: “I’m 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 biggest-ever 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 native-French 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.”
Macron’s 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.