Written by on April 25, 2022



French President Emmanuel Macron defeated his rival Marine Le Pen on Sunday by a comfortable margin, securing a second term and heading off what would have been a political earthquake.

Cheers of joy erupted as the results appeared on a giant screen at the Champ de Mars park at the foot of the Eiffel tower, where Mr Macron’s supporters waved French and EU flags. People hugged each other and chanted “Macron”.

In contrast, a gathering of dejected Ms Le Pen’s supporters erupted in boos and whistles at a sprawling reception hall on the outskirts of Paris.

Ms Le Pen admitted defeat but vowed to keep up the fight, with the June parliamentary elections in mind.

President Emmanuel Macron said he would rule for “all” of France after he was projected to become the first French leader to win re-election in 20 years after an exit poll predicted he had comfortably defeated rival Marine Le Pen.

An Ipsos poll gave Mr Macron 58.2 per cent of the vote and Marine Le Pen just 41.8 per cent, a decisive victory despite doubts about the current president’s handling of the economy and ability to connect with voters, and despite a lower-than-usual turnout.

Other polls by four major research companies predicted that Mr Macron had won with at least 55 per cent of the vote, compared with at most 45 per cent for Ms Le Pen.

Talking to cheering supporters at the Eiffel Tower, Mr Macron said: “I’m not the candidate of one camp any more, but the president of all of us.”

He added: “I will work for a more just society and equality between men and women​. We need to show respect because our country is so divided… no one will be left by the wayside.”

His speech was followed by a rendition of the French national anthem.

If the projections hold, Mr Macron will become only the third president since the founding of modern France in 1958 to win twice at the ballot box, and the first in 20 years, since the then incumbent Jacques Chirac trounced Ms Le Pen’s father in 2002.

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