(CNN) –Emmanuel Macron won the presidential election FranceDuring Sunday’s runoff he faced the historic challenge of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
Macron received 58.55% of the vote on Sunday, becoming the first French leader to be re-elected in 20 years.
Although Macron’s speech to the electorate about a globalized and economically liberal France led by a strong EU defeated the radical shift in Le Pen, 41.8% of the people who voted for him brought the French far-right closer to the presidency. Than ever.
Macron’s supporters, gathered in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, erupted in cheers as the news broke. The celebration was much less than Macron’s success in 2017, although he walked back to deliver his speech to the European anthem, commonly known as “Ode to Joy”.
In his victory speech, Macron promised to be the “leader of each and every one of you.” He then thanked his followers and admitted that as in 2017, many voted for him to block the far right.
Macron promised that his second term would not be a continuation of his first and that he would solve all of France’s current problems.
He spoke directly to Le Pen, who, as president, said he wanted to find a response to the “anger and dissent” that led the far-right to vote.
“This is my responsibility and the responsibility of those around me,” Macron said.
Within half an hour, Le Pen was delivering a speech to his supporters gathered near a pavilion in the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris.
“A great wind of freedom may have blown in our country, but the election ended differently,” Le Pen said.
Nevertheless, Le Pen acknowledged the fact that the far right had not performed so well in a presidential election. He described the decision as a “historic” and “brilliant victory” that put his political party, Agrupación Nacional, “in a better position” in the June assembly elections.
“The game is not over yet,” he said.
Le Pen conceded defeat
Marine Leibniz The French conceded defeat in the second round of the presidential election, but said its results were a victory. Sounding like he was fighting, Le Pen said he would continue to fight.
He called for assembly elections in two months’ time and urged his supporters to continue supporting his party.
“A great wind of freedom may have blown in our country. The fate of the election wanted something else.”
He added: “I will not abandon the French! Viv la France”, he concluded in brief statements west of Paris.
Marine Le Pen pointed out that despite defeating Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election, his far-right movement has a strong foundation for the future, protecting nearly 42% of the French electorate.
In his inaugural address, Le Pen said, “The game is not over yet as the Assembly elections are due in a few weeks.”
“Tonight we begin the great battle of the Assembly elections … with all who hold the nation at heart … I will never abandon the French,” he added.
Putin’s potential impact in these elections
Of the 12 candidates who competed in the first round on April 10, Macron and Le Pen advanced to the second round after finishing first and second, respectively. For the next two weeks they toured the country in the first round with those who did not vote for them.
The second round was a repeat of the 2017 presidential election, when he defeated a newcomer, Macron Le Pen, by two votes to one. This time, however, Macron had to present a mixed record on domestic issues.
Le Pen’s ability to attract new voters from 2017 is the latest sign that the French public is turning to extremist politicians to express dissatisfaction with the current situation. In the first round, far-left and far-right candidates received more than 57% of the vote, while 26.3% of registered voters remained at home, resulting in the lowest turnout in 20 years.
Le Pen’s campaign, instead of believing in anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant and Euroseptic positions, sought to tap public anger over the fall in the cost of living by campaigning hard to help the people deal with the main concerns of the French electorate, such as inflation and rising energy prices. It dominated his first two attempts to win the presidency in 2017 and 2012.
He portrayed himself as a more regular and less active candidate, although much of his statement is the same as it was five years ago. The two priorities of his report were to “stop unrestricted immigration” and “the abolition of Islamic ideologies,” analysts say, adding that many of his policies in the EU would have stood against the French camp.
Although Le Pen has dropped some of his most controversial political proposals, such as his withdrawal from the European Union and the euro, immigration and his position on Islam in France (he wants to make it illegal for women to wear the hijab in public).
“I think the veil is a uniform imposed by the Islamists,” he said during a presidential debate on Wednesday. “I think most women who wear women can really do nothing else, even if they dare not say so.”
But Vladimir Putin is probably his biggest political danger. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Le Pen was an outspoken supporter of the Russian president, and even met with him during his 2017 campaign. His party also took a loan from a Czech Russian bank several years ago, and he is still paying.
Although he condemned the invasion of Moscow, Macron attacked him for Le Pen’s earlier position during the debate. He argued that representing France could not be trusted when dealing with the Kremlin.
“When you talk to Russia, you talk to your banker. That’s the problem,” Macron said during the debate.
Le Pen said his party was forced to seek funding abroad because no French bank accepted the loan request, but security did not explicitly echo that.
CNN’s Simon Bouvier, Xiafi Sue, Camille Knight and Elias Lemercier contributed to the report.