Supporters of the far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen gathered at her campaign’s electoral venue in Paris as partial results of the run-off vote began to come in.

Le Pen’s supporters booed when the exit polls and initial results emerged.

Early indications

Three projections, issued within minutes of polling stations closing at 8pm French time, showed Macron beating Le Pen by an estimated 65% to 35.

The gap was wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had pointed to.

What Le Pen said

“The National Front, which is involved in a strategic alliance, must itself be renewed so it remains at the forefront of this historic opportunity and the expectations the French have expressed in this second round.”

“I propose that our movement undergoes a profound transformation so that it becomes a fresh political force that appeals to the French, which is more necessary than ever before to get the country back on its feet.”

“I am calling on all patriots to join us and take part in this decisive political combat which has begun tonight. France will need you more than ever in the coming months. Long live the Republic, long live France.”

A record performance

Despite the loss, this was a record performance for the National Front.

The party’s anti-immigrant policies have, until recently, made it a pariah in French politics and underlined the scale of the divisions that he must try to heal.

48-year-old Le Pen’s share of the vote was set to be almost twice that won by her father Jean-Marie.

He was the last National Front candidate to qualify for a presidential runoff, being trounced by Jacques Chirac in 2002.

Le Pen’s policies

Le Pen’s high-spending, anti-globalisation, ‘France-first’ policies may have unnerved financial markets.

However, they appealed to many poorer members of society, struggling in a context of high unemployment, social tensions and security concerns.

In tweets

“The French have chosen a new president of the Republic and have voted for continuity,” Marine Le Pen tweeted after her defeat.

“I congratulate him on his election and, because I have the greater interests of the country at heart, I wish him success.”

“I wish him success with all the enormous challenges France is facing.”


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