| 7.2°C Belfast

French president-elect Emmanuel Macron hails 'new page of our history'

Close

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron speaks after his victory in presidential runoff, at his campaign headquarters in Paris, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (Lionel Bonaventure/Pool Photo via AP)

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron speaks after his victory in presidential runoff, at his campaign headquarters in Paris, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (Lionel Bonaventure/Pool Photo via AP)

AP

A photo taken on May 7, 2017 in Paris, shows a TV screen displaying French President elected Emmanuel Macron with an estimated score of more than 65 per cent.
AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORINOLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images

A photo taken on May 7, 2017 in Paris, shows a TV screen displaying French President elected Emmanuel Macron with an estimated score of more than 65 per cent. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORINOLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French far-right presidential candidate Marine le Pen delivers a speech, Sunday, May 7, 2017 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

French far-right presidential candidate Marine le Pen delivers a speech, Sunday, May 7, 2017 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

AP

Tourists stand with umbrellas under the rain near the Eiffel Tower on Trocadero Plaza in Paris on May 7, 2017, on the day of the second round of the French presidential election.

Tourists stand with umbrellas under the rain near the Eiffel Tower on Trocadero Plaza in Paris on May 7, 2017, on the day of the second round of the French presidential election.

AFP/Getty Images

A woman casts her ballot as others queue to vote in the presidential runoff election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, in Marseille, France, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

A woman casts her ballot as others queue to vote in the presidential runoff election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, in Marseille, France, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

AP

Officials prepare the polling station for voters in the presidential runoff election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, in Marseille, France, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Officials prepare the polling station for voters in the presidential runoff election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, in Marseille, France, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

AP

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN - National Front) party Marine Le Pen (L) gestures as she walks out a polling station in Henin-Beaumont, north-western France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / DENIS CHARLETDENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN - National Front) party Marine Le Pen (L) gestures as she walks out a polling station in Henin-Beaumont, north-western France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / DENIS CHARLETDENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron waves to photographers outside a polling station after casting his vote in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Philippe HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron waves to photographers outside a polling station after casting his vote in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Philippe HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French right-wing Les Republicains (LR) party senator Francois Baroin casts his ballot at a polling station in Troyes, northeastern France, on May 7, 2017 during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS NASCIMBENIFRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP/Getty Images

French right-wing Les Republicains (LR) party senator Francois Baroin casts his ballot at a polling station in Troyes, northeastern France, on May 7, 2017 during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS NASCIMBENIFRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron waves to supporters after voting in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron waves to supporters after voting in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux exit polling booths before casting their balots at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (L) and his wife Brigitte Trogneux exit polling booths before casting their balots at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN - National Front) party Marine Le Pen walks in polling booth at a polling station in Henin-Beaumont, north-western France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / joel SAGETJOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN - National Front) party Marine Le Pen walks in polling booth at a polling station in Henin-Beaumont, north-western France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / joel SAGETJOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (C) casts his ballot, as his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) looks on, at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (C) casts his ballot, as his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) looks on, at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (L) looks on as his wife Brigitte Trogneux casts her ballot at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (L) looks on as his wife Brigitte Trogneux casts her ballot at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Eric FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Surrounded by press and onlookers, French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux leaves their home to make his way to a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, to vote during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIKPATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

Surrounded by press and onlookers, French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux leaves their home to make his way to a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, to vote during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIKPATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (C) leaves his home to make his way to a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIKPATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche ! movement Emmanuel Macron (C) leaves his home to make his way to a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIKPATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

People queue with their identification cards as they wait to vote at a polling station in Bordeaux, southwestern of France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election.  / AFP PHOTO / Eric CABANISERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

People queue with their identification cards as they wait to vote at a polling station in Bordeaux, southwestern of France, on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric CABANISERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

People sit near elections posters outside a polling station in the city hall of Cintegabelle, near Toulouse, southern France on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric CABANISERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

People sit near elections posters outside a polling station in the city hall of Cintegabelle, near Toulouse, southern France on May 7, 2017, during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric CABANISERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

A picture outside a polling station in the city hall of Cintegabelle, near Toulouse, southern France on May 7, 2017, shows vandalised elections posters during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric CABANISERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

A picture outside a polling station in the city hall of Cintegabelle, near Toulouse, southern France on May 7, 2017, shows vandalised elections posters during the second round of the French presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / Eric CABANISERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - Chief of the polling booth, Stephane Thevenin, holds the ballot box as he arrives in Chausey island, northwestern France on May 6, 2017 a day before the second round of the French presidential election.
On May 7, 2017, 51 people will vote in the island of Chausey. / AFP PHOTO / CHARLY TRIBALLEAUCHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - Chief of the polling booth, Stephane Thevenin, holds the ballot box as he arrives in Chausey island, northwestern France on May 6, 2017 a day before the second round of the French presidential election. On May 7, 2017, 51 people will vote in the island of Chausey. / AFP PHOTO / CHARLY TRIBALLEAUCHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Officials in Marseille prepare a polling station for voters in the presidential run-off election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen (Claude Paris/AP/PA)

Officials in Marseille prepare a polling station for voters in the presidential run-off election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen (Claude Paris/AP/PA)

/

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron speaks after his victory in presidential runoff, at his campaign headquarters in Paris, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (Lionel Bonaventure/Pool Photo via AP)

Emmanuel Macron has said a "new page of our history" has opened after he defeated far-right populist Marine Le Pen to become France's new president.

Voters delivered a resounding victory for the pro-European former investment banker, strengthening France's place as a central pillar of the EU, and he immediately vowed to " defend France and Europe".

He acknowledged divisions in society which drove people to "vote to the extreme", and said he will work for all of France.

A crowd of Macron supporters roared with delight, jubilantly waving red, white and blue tricolour flags at a victory party outside the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Ms Le Pen said she had called the 39-year-old to concede defeat after voters rejected her "French-first" nationalism by a large margin.

Pollsters project Mr Macron won 65% of the vote to make him France's youngest president in history.

Ms Le Pen's projected 35% score was lower than her polling numbers earlier in the campaign, and dashed her hopes that the populist wave which swept Donald Trump into the White House would also carry her to France's presidential Elysee Palace.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Mr Macron's victory marks the third time in six months - following elections in Austria and Holland - that European voters shot down far-right populists who wanted to restore borders across Europe.

The election of a French president who championed European unity could also strengthen the EU's hand in its complex divorce proceedings with Britain.

In a statement minutes after the last polls closed on Sunday night, French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced Mr Macron's victory.

"(This) testifies to the lucidity of the voters who rejected the deadly project of the extreme right," he said, adding that voters also showed they embrace the EU.

But many French voters backed Mr Macron reluctantly, not because they agree with his politics but simply to keep out Ms Le Pen and her far-right National Front.

After the most closely watched and unpredictable French presidential campaign in recent memory, many voters rejected the run-off choice altogether - pollsters project there were a record number of blank or spoiled ballots.

Mr Macron now becomes not only France's youngest president but also one of its most unlikely. Until now, modern France had been governed either by the Socialists or the conservatives - but both Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen upended those political traditions.

Unknown to voters before his turbulent 2014-16 tenure as France's pro-business economy minister, Mr Macron took a giant gamble by quitting the government of outgoing Socialist president Francois Hollande to run as an independent in his first electoral campaign.

Despite her loss, Ms Le Pen's advancement to the run-off for the first time marked a breakthrough for the 48-year-old. She had placed third in the 2012 presidential vote, underscoring a growing acceptance for her fierce anti-immigration, France-first nationalism among disgruntled voters.

After conceding defeat, she immediately turned her focus to France's upcoming legislative elections in June, where Mr Macron will need a working majority to govern effectively.

"I call on all patriots to join us," she said. "France will need you more than ever in the months ahead."

Mr Hollande congratulated Mr Macron and said his victory shows the overwhelming majority of voters rallied behind the European Union and openness to the world.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff Peter Altmaier congratulated Mr Macron with a tweet saying: "Long live France, long live Europe!," while her chief spokesman Steffen Seibert said it is a victory "for a strong and united Europe".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a message to Mr Macron that it makes him "happy that the ideas that you defended of a strong and progressive Europe that protects all its citizens will be those that France will cherish under your presidency".

In a tweet, Mr Trump said : "Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him."

A White House statement cited Mr Macron and the French people for "their successful presidential election" and said the United States looks forward to "continuing our close relationship with the French government".

At a victory rally, Mr Macron said that France is facing an "immense task" to rebuild European unity, fix the economy and ensure security against extremist threats.

Speaking to thousands of supporters from the Louvre Museum's courtyard, he said that Europe and the world are "watching us" and "waiting for us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, threatened in so many places".

Mr Macron, who has never held public office and just founded his political movement a year ago, said "everyone said it was impossible. But they didn't know France".

He also promised to work to unify France after a bruising presidential campaign and serve the country "with love".

His wife Brigitte then came up on stage with him, and she kissed his hand and waved to the crowd.

AP

Mr Macron's inauguration will be held by the end of the coming week at the Elysee Palace.

The exact date has not yet been set but t he ceremony must be scheduled before the formal end of Mr Hollande's term on May 14.

Mr Macron will attend his first official event as president-elect on Monday by Mr Hollande's side at the commemoration of the Second World War Victory Day.

The Constitutional Council will declare the definitive results of the vote by Thursday.

Once president, Mr Macron will have to quickly designate a prime minister and form a government. The whole process usually takes no more than a few days.

AP


Top Videos



Privacy