Emmanuel Macron Reelected President Of France

With an estimated 58.2% of the vote, Emmanuel Macron has been reelected as President of France, defeating extreme right National Rally leader Marine Le Pen who amassed 41.8%. Macron now becomes the eighth French incumbent to win a second term.

Coming into today’s final round of the election, independent centrist Macron was leading in the polls. This was a rematch with Le Pen after 2017 and the second runoff between candidates from parties other than the traditional left and right.

The polls closed earlier this evening local time and the results were announced at 8pm. Voter abstention was estimated at 28.7%, according to media reports. This is higher than in 2017 when Macron and Le Pen faced off for the first time, and is also more than the first round of voting two weeks ago. However, it is not a record breaker.

Macron’s camp has been parked on the Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower where Daft Punk’s “One More Time” blared out from loudspeakers on the esplanade when the results were announced. Le Pen is at the Pavillion d’Armenonville in Paris’ 16th arrondissement where she appeared shortly after the results.

In her concession speech, Le Pen said she was more determined than ever, having increased her percentage of the vote versus 2017. “The French people are expressing this evening the desire for a strong counter-power to that of Emmanuel Macron… A great political recomposition is emerging in this country.” She added that “the game is not quite played,” given legislative elections will take place in a few weeks. “Tonight,” she concluded, “I say it again, I will never abandon the French people.”

Macron will address his supporters shortly.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among the first world leaders to congratulate the reelected President (scroll down for more reactions).

France has been divided in recent weeks, with many decrying the options presented in the election. A nearly three-hour televised debate between the candidates drew the lowest ever ratings for the traditional exchange that takes place between the two rounds of voting.

In the wake of the first round, some 400 artists lent their names to an op-ed published in Le Monde urging the electorate to put its voice behind Macron.

Signatories including Juliette Binoche, Jane Birkin, Guillaume Canet, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Mélanie Thierry wrote in the opinion piece, “Without illusions, without hesitation and without trembling, we will vote for Emmanuel Macron.” Of Le Pen, they said, “We cannot imagine, at the head of France, a candidate whose program remains that of xenophobia and withdrawal, a candidate who has made an alliance with totalitarian and warmongering powers. We cannot imagine what this terrible sign would mean for Europe and for the world.”

Populist Le Pen, who has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and was one of the first international politicians to celebrate Donald Trump’s U.S. presidency, had attempted to soften her image and that of her anti-immigration party, but her program included measures that are in contradiction with European treaties, potentially calling into question the freedom of movement of goods, and also of people.

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