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Rundle: heady hours for centrist France as Macron thumps Le Pen

08 Mai 2017

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy congratulated Mr Macron on Twitter, writing: "We work in France and Spain for a stable, prosperous and more integrated Europe".

Mr Hollande congratulated Mr Macron and said his victory shows the overwhelming majority of voters rallied behind the European Union and openness to the world.

The election results pushed the euro to a six-month high against the USA dollar.

Jean-Claude Junker, who has previously described Mr Macron as a "good friend", welcomed the decisive win of the pro-EU candidate.

She said: "The FN's fight must be aimed at ensuring Macron does not have his hands completely free to run the country". "I know the anger, the anxiety, the doubts that a large number of you also expressed".

He said that a new page was being turned in French history.

Nationalist and populist parties, emboldened by Britain's decision past year to leave the European Union, have made the case against the currency in the Netherlands, France, Italy and Greece, among others.

He left the ruling Socialist Party of François Hollande last August to form his new movement - En Marche - saying it was neither left nor right wing. Le Pen called on "all patriots to join us" in constituting a "new political force".

Le Pen has conceded defeat, saying French people chose to vote for continuity. She has also often linked immigration to terrorism.

As well as praising Le Pen in recent weeks, Farage declared in a TV interview on Sunday morning that the 48-year-old had "lost weight" and was "looking pretty fit".

Even so, it was a record performance for the National Front, a party whose anti-immigrant policies until recently made it a pariah in French politics, and underlined the scale of the divisions that Macron must now try to heal.

His opponent in the race for the presidency, Marine Le Pen, is a critic of globalisation and had proposed withdrawing France from the single currency.

Macron's personal life is certainly of interest to many, as a 16-year-old he fell in love with his 40-year-old teacher, who was married with three children.

"Well, I don't feel anything because I'm not going to vote", a Paris resident told the New York Times, "There is no choice". The Interior Ministry announced the turnout had reached 65.3 percent, compared to 71.96 percent in the second round of presidential voting in 2012.

His government should also invest in understanding and responding to the factors that drove the strong showing of the far-right National Front in the presidential elections.

It's clear, however, who Russian Federation supported in this race.

Although opinion polls had given him a clear lead, there was speculation that these surveys could be as wrong, as when they had predicted a comfortable win for Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential elections in November 2016.