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Emmanuel Macron is France's new president

  • Emmanuel Macron was elected France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon last night after beating his far-Right rival Marine Le Pen in an emphatic result that will have far-reaching consequences for Brexit and Europe.
Initial projections gave 39-year-old Mr Macron almost two thirds of the vote, showing a clear path to the Élysée Palace for the pro-EU centrist who was a political unknown until three years ago and has never held elected office. “A new page of our long history is turned,” he said in a sombre victory speech in which he promised to “fight the divisions” in the country after a campaign that laid bare the “anger, anxiety and doubts” of many voters.
The scale of his victory was heralded as a triumph for a “strong and united Europe” by Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor.
During the campaign, Mr Macron had warned that Brexit negotiations would be “no walk in the park”, promising to defend the integrity of the EU single market and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. In his victory speech last night, he added: “I will defend Europe; it is our civilisation which is at stake... I will work to rebuild ties between Europe and its citizens.”
However, the result was welcomed by some senior Conservatives as good news for the Brexit negotiations.
“We don’t want to be negotiating with an EU in existential crisis – which it would be if Le Pen had won,” said Crispin Blunt, the Tory chairman of the Foreign Affairs select committee.
Theresa May was quick to congratulate Mr Macron on his victory. “France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities,” said a Downing Street spokesman.
The French president-elect must now secure a parliamentary majority in next month’s legislative elections when his untested En Marche! (Onwards) movement will go up against a weakened but well-honed electoral machine of the centre-Right Républicains.
Ms Le Pen’s party had made it clear they were gunning for at least 40 per cent of the vote. She failed to achieve such heights, but her performance maintained her record of improving the Front National’s score in every election since she became leader in 2011.
With almost 11 million votes in her favour, Ms Le Pen, 48, won more than twice the amount her estranged father and FN co-founder, Jean-Marie, mustered in 2002. Ms Le Pen said the “historic and massive result” turned her “patriotic and republican alliance” into the “main opposition force against the new president’s project”.
At around 74 per cent, turnout was at its lowest since 1969.
 France President-elect, Emmanuel Macron.
France's new president-elect Emmanuel Macron thanks his supporters from the bottom of his heart as he makes his first television address to the nation after beating Marine Le Pen.

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