France votes for Emmanuel Macron rather than Marine Le Pen in the presidential election
French voters have voted for Emmanuel Macron for a second term as the country’s president following a stormy national election. He beat Marine Le Pen in the second round of presidential elections.
Le Pen has now conceded defeat with exit polls, comfortably seeing Macron win the election. A second five-year term for Mr Macron, if confirmed by official results later on Sunday, would spare France and its allies in Europe and beyond the seismic upheaval of a power shift in times of war.
Mr Macron’s rival, far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, quickly conceded on Sunday evening.
His campaign had pledged to dilute France’s ties to the EU27, the NATO military alliance and Germany, had it won, would have undermined Europe’s security architecture as the continent is facing its worst conflict since the Second World War.
Ms Le Pen has also spoken out against sanctions on Russian energy supplies and has come under scrutiny during the election campaign because of her previous friendship with the Kremlin.
Polling agency projections released as the last polls closed indicated that Mr Macron was on track to beat Ms Le Pen by a double-digit margin.
Five years ago, Mr Macron won a landslide victory to become France’s youngest president at 39.
The margin should be much lower this time: polling agencies Opinionway, Harris and Ifop predicted that the 44-year-old pro-European centrist should win at least 57% of the vote.
Ms Le Pen is expected to garner between 41.5% and 43% support – still an unprecedented result for the 53-year-old in her third bid to win the French presidency.
The first official results are expected later on Sunday.