Emmanuel Macron wins French Presidential election

Author
Newstalk ZB staff, AAP,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 May 2017, 6:12AM
French President Emmanuel Macron (Getty Images).

Emmanuel Macron wins French Presidential election

Author
Newstalk ZB staff, AAP,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 May 2017, 6:12AM

Marine Le Pen has conceded - Emmanuel Macron is the new president of France.

Pro-European centrist Macron has romped home to with 65.5 percent support, against Le Pen's 34.5 percent.

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Macron supporters gathered outside the Louvre museum in central Paris broke out in wild cheers and waved the French flag as the news came through.

39-year-old Macron is the youngest French President ever. 

French far-right candidate Le Pen said she has called Macron to congratulate him on his victory and said the vote confirms her National Front party and its allies as the leader of France's opposition.

But she made a parting swipe at the winner's similarity to current president François Hollande.

"My dear compatriots from abroad and at home the French have chosen a new President of the Republic and they voted for continuity."

Minutes after the first results were released on Sunday, Le Pen said she would call for a new political force as legislative elections loom in June.

She hinted that her party may rename itself from the National Front, which has been dogged by allegations of racism and anti-Semitism since it was founded by her father.

If the polls are confirmed, Le Pen's showing would nonetheless be stronger than her National Front party has seen in its 45-year history.

The projections are based on vote counts in selected constituencies, then extrapolated nationwide.

But Le Pen's projected showing, unusually low turnout and the record number of blank ballots are an indication of the headwinds facing Macron, a former economy minister who started his own political movement only a year ago.

Sky's Michelle Clifford said more voters than ever may choose to abstain.

"They weren't satisfied with the two choices. Abstentions were predicted to be at a record high. It's looking at the moment that abstentions could hit a record level."

France's future in the European Union seems a little more certain, as the pro- European centrist candidate Macron is elected president.

Outgoing President Hollande said he's called Macron to warmly congratulate him and expressed his best wishes for success for France.

He said the victory shows most French people want to unite around the values of the Republic.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said it shows French voters have chosen a European future.

Here are some reactions from world leaders.
* British Prime Minister Theresa May's office said: "The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies, and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities."

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman tweeted in French and German: "Congratulations Emmanuel Macron. Your victory is a victory for a strong united Europe and for the Franco-German friendship."

* Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders congratulated Le Pen despite her defeat in the French presidential elections. He tweeted: "Well done anyway ... millions of patriots voted for you! You will win next time - and so will I!"

* London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "The French people have chosen hope over fear and unity over division."