French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected on Sunday with 58.8% of the vote compared to 41.2% for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
Voter turnout was lower than the last time Macron and Le Pen faced each other in the second round five years ago as they present two significantly different visions for France’s future.
Abstention was estimated by Ipsos to be at around 28% nationally, which would be the highest since 1969.
Macron is the first president to get a second term since President Jacques Chirac in 2002.
Marine Le Pen said her score was “a resounding victory” stating that she had hope and would fight in June’s legislative elections.
She said her party the National Rally would unite those who wanted to oppose the newly re-elected president.
Le Pen said that the “historic score” would allow them to increase the number of MPs in the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly.
“I will never abandon the French,” she said.
Macron’s victory has been received with optimism across Europe.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Macron’s victory was “wonderful news for Europe.”
“We are ready to continue working together, with ambition and determination, at the service of our countries and of all European citizens,” Draghi said in a statement posted to social media.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Macron, saying in a tweet, “I look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation. Together, we will move France and Europe forward.”
On his part, EU Council president Charles Michel said, “We can count on France for five more years.”
He added: “Warm congratulations dear Emmanuel Macron. In these turbulent times, we need a solid Europe and a France that is totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union.”
However, French far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon called on people to vote in the legislative elections, saying he was worried about Macron’s plans to raise the retirement age and his “climate inaction” among other policies.
But he said the defeat of far-right Marine Le Pen was “good news” while qualifying that Macron’s “monarchy survives by default.”
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