Macron defeated his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen at the polls.
French President, Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen at the just concluded Presidential polls. Macron is heading off a political earthquake for Europe but he acknowledged dissatisfaction with his first term and says he would seek to make amends.
His supporters erupted with joy as the results appeared on a giant screen at the Champ de Mars park by the Eiffel tower. Leaders in Berlin, Brussels, London, and beyond welcomed his defeat of Le Pen. But even as exit polls showed a solid 58.5% of the vote, Macron in his victory speech acknowledged many had only voted for him only to keep Le Pen out and he promised to address the sense of many French that their living standards are slipping.
Two years of disruption from the pandemic and surging energy prices exacerbated by the Ukraine war catapulted economic issues to the fore of the campaign. The rising cost of living has become an increasing strain for the poorest in the country.
Le Pen, who at one stage of the campaign had trailed Macron by just a few points in opinion polls, quickly admitted defeat. But she vowed to keep up the fight with parliamentary elections in June. Macron can expect little or no grace period in a country whose stark political divisions have been brought into the open by an election in which radical parties scored well.
Many expect the street protests that marred part of his first term to erupt again as he presses on with pro-business reforms. How Macron now fares will depend on the looming parliamentary elections. Le Pen wants a nationalist alliance in a move that raises the prospect of her working with rival far-rightists like Eric Zemmour and her niece, Marion Marechal.