Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron won re-election on Sunday, convincingly defeating his rival Marine Le Pen and prompting a wave of relief in Europe that the far-right had been kept out of power.
Macron, 44, has become the third French president who has managed to secure a second term. His margin of victory, however, was tighter than when he first beat Le Pen in 2017.
With around 97% of votes counted so far, Macron was on course for a solid 57.4% of the vote, interior ministry figures showed.
In his victory speech, he acknowledged that many had only voted for him only to keep Le Pen out and he promised to address the sense of many French that their living standards are slipping.
“Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come,” he said.
“No one in France will be left by the wayside,” he said.
Ce projet, je le porterai avec vous. pic.twitter.com/DruhuhWNA6
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 24, 2022
Le Pen, who at one stage of the campaign had trailed Macron by just a few points in opinion polls, quickly admitted defeat. But she vowed to keep up the fight with parliamentary elections in June.
“I will never abandon the French,” she told her supporters.