Macron Defeats Le Pen to Become French President in Boost to EUBy , , and
Independent centrist leads 65% to 35% in pollsters’ estimates
New French leader promises to renew commitment to EU
Emmanuel Macron beat the anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election.
Macron, a 39-year-old centrist, leads Le Pen by about 65 percent to 35 percent, according to the estimates of four separate pollsters. The firms sampled real votes as they were being counted and weighted their results to reflect the composition of the French electorate. Their projections were all within 1 percentage point.
Le Pen conceded defeat in a televised statement.
The victory will prove a relief for markets after a campaign that saw bond yields fluctuate in tandem with the fortunes of Le Pen’s bid to take France out of the euro.
A pro-European globalist, Macron will have to unite a divided France after one of the most bitter and turbulent elections of modern times. His challenge will be to end years of high unemployment and sluggish growth, deal with the terrorist threat that has traumatized the country and, ultimately, restore faith in the political establishment.
The election brings to an end a tumultuous campaign that culminated in a hacking attack on the Macron camp on the eve of polling. Surprises littered the way to Sunday’s runoff. The incumbent Francois Hollande decided not to seek re-election, a first for a sitting president, while former head of state Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls suffered humiliating defeats in their parties’ primaries.
— With assistance by John Follain