Emanuel Macron defeated the right-wing candidate Marin Le Pen in the second round of the presidential elections in France, show the first projections of the results published after the end of the voting.
Macron won 58 percent of the vote, while Le Pen received the support of 42 percent of voters, according to French media.
With this result, the 44-year-old Macron will become the first French president to win a second term in the last 20 years.
Le Pen participated in the presidential race for the third time – in 2017, she also lost to Macron, who then won 66 percent of the vote.
However, today’s result represents an unprecedented success for her ultra-right party.
Addressing supporters in Paris, the 55-year-old Le Pen said the result was a “victory” for her party.
The President of the European Parliament, Charles Michel, welcomed Macron’s success, writing in a tweet that the European Union needs France committed to this project at this turbulent time on the continent.
Warm congratulations dear @EmmanuelMacron
In this turbulent period, we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union.
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) April 24, 2022
He was joined by Ursula von der Layen, President of the European Commission, who said she was looking forward to continuing to work together with the re-elected President of France.
Cher @EmmanuelMacronmy congratulations on your re-election as President of the Republic.
I look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation.
Together, we will move France and Europe forward.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 24, 2022
This was a dramatic, but also a historic victory for the current president.
No doubt, this was the biggest chance for Marin Le Pen to win, but it still didn’t happen.
Her campaign was polished, focused on the cost of living, the growth of which affects the voters, and she did great in the last TV duel with Macron.
Macron ran in the election just eight days before the first round, sparking accusations of arrogance,
But when he finally got involved in the presidential race, voters were obviously listening.
Although Le Pen offered to reduce taxes and stop raising the pension limit, voters decided that his proposals were much more realistic and rejected hers.
‘Macron or France’
Rising cost of living, from electricity bills and food purchases to gas prices, was the number one issue in this election.
The importance of this issue was recognized very early on by the team of the far-right candidate.
They promised to call a referendum on migration and a ban on wearing headscarves in public.
“Macron or France” is the message that Le Pen sent to the voters.
Emanuel Macron says that “elections are like a referendum on secularism and Europe”.
He claims that the idea of ”Europe of Nations” that he represents would be the end of the European Union.
In a televised address, he reminded of the vote of Great Britain for leaving the EU and the American elections when Donald Trump won.
“A few hours before Brexit, several million people decided which option to vote for, something similar happened in 2016, when several million people voted for Trump.
“The next day they woke up with a hangover,” Macron warned.
Marin Le Pen accused Macron of insulting her and her voters, saying that chaos had reigned in France for five years and that the French could rediscover peace and respect.
“We will not find it with the same man and the same kind of rule,” she added.
The biggest problem for both candidates is the large number of voters who will not go to the polls or will throw in a blank white ballot.
Research indicates that the turnout could be the lowest since 1969.
“It is my civic duty to vote, but I will insert a white ballot because I want to show dissatisfaction with this system,” one voter told the BBC.
Dissatisfaction with Macron’s centrism and the policy he pursues was clearly seen in the first round, when more than half of the electorate supported the far right or the far left.
Every fifth voter supported Jean-Luc Melenchon, a candidate from the far left who was in third place in terms of the number of votes, just behind Marin Le Pen.
Many French people have not forgotten the yellow vest protests over rising fuel prices that erupted 18 months after Macron came to power.
The results of the latest polls show that the current president could win between 53 and 57 percent of the votes, but it is not clear when he will support the 7.7 million voters who elected Melenchon in the first round.
An Ipsos poll conducted on Friday, two days before the second round of the presidency, shows that 48% of people who voted for Melenchon two weeks ago do not support either Macron or Le Pen in the second round.
‘Between cholera and plague’
Although every third left-wing voter is expected to support Macron, there are a significant number of those who dislike him so much that they would rather elect a far-right candidate.
The campaign ended on Friday at midnight French time, and the two teams are now legally obliged to respect the election silence and stop the election campaign until the voting ends on Sunday, April 24.
As the sun set in Paris, one of the rising stars of Macron’s party joined party activists in handing out leaflets, which was also the last invitation to vote.
Julian Denormandi, the Minister of Agriculture, said that the government is aware that the dissatisfied public should be brought closer to the leading policy.
“Maybe that will be one of the key problems for Macron if he wins.
“Everyone in politics must think about the way politics is conducted, adopted and implemented, because people will not vote if they do not see that their lives are improving,” he said.
The elections are unusual from the very beginning, which was first influenced by the Kovid pandemic, and then by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Macron was therefore in contact with voters only eight days before the start of the first round.
Although 12 candidates participated in the initial race, only three achieved good results.
The two parties that were traditionally in power in France until Emanuel Macron won in 2017 attracted just over two million voters.
The campaign culminated in a TV duel on Wednesday night, when Macron and Le Pen debated for almost three hours live, and the moderators barely got involved in the discussion.
Source: Dnevni list Danas by www.danas.rs.
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