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France’s Emmanuel Macron Wins Second Term in Office


French President Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right 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 Macron supporters waved French and EU flags. People hugged each other, danced and chanted “Macron!”.

European leaders also welcomed the news that pro-European Union Macron and not nationalist eurosceptic Le Pen had won.

Reuters reports that Pollsters projected Macron securing around 58.5% of the vote. Such estimates are normally accurate but may be fine-tuned as official results come in.

“I am very relieved – it had looked very close and populism was at our door,” 42-year old Alessandro Paleni told Reuters at the Macron rally. But he stressed the president faced a difficult task given how many votes went to the far-right.

Le Pen, who at one stage of the campaign had trailed Macron by just a few points in opinion polls, quickly admitted defeat but vowed to keep up the fight, with parliamentary elections looming in June.

“I will never abandon the French,” she said to supporters chanting “Marine! Marine!”

Macron can expect little to no grace period after many, especially on the left, only voted for him reluctantly to block the far-right from winning. Protests that marred part of his first mandate could erupt again quite quickly, as he tries to press on with pro-business reforms.

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