Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Le Pen vows to revamp party after huge loss

Macron won 66 per cent of the vote in Sunday's presidential run-off against the far right's Marine Le Pen, the biggest win by a French president since Jacques Chirac's victory over Le Pen's father Jean-Marie in 2002. This was nearly double the tally her more rabid father Jean-Marie won in 2002, the last time a far-right candidate made it to the runoff.

She said she would seek to rename her National Front party, a measure of the extent to which her defeat rattled supporters who just weeks ago harboured hopes of capturing the Elysee Palace. The abstention rate for younger people was also much higher than that of older voters, revealing that fewer young people believed in either the threat of Le Pen or the globalist programme of Macron.

Mr Putin made no mention of the widespread reports that agents linked to Russian Federation had tampered with the Macron campaign, just as they hacked the Democratic Party and the campaign of Hillary Clinton in the United States past year. Everyone told us it was impossible.

He tweeted earlier: "As of this evening and for the coming five years, I am going to serve with humility, with dedication, with determination, in your name".

Mr Macron, a committed euro federalist, has already pledged swingeing public sector job cuts to bring France's national debt to GDP ratio below the three per cent limit imposed on member states by Brussels. Let us work in France and Spain for a stable, prosperous and more integrated Europe, " Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a tweet. "My duty is to alleviate fears and rekindle optimism", he added.

This time, a large number of French voters don't want either a far-right or centrist president whom many see as a defender of austerity and globalisation. "I will fight with all my strength against the divisions that separate us". And unlike his adversary Marine Le Pen, Macron supports remaining in the European Union, which is important for "the circulation of brains and ideas", according to nine directors of French scientific research institutes who wrote a letter to Agence France Presse, Science reported April 28.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron laid the groundwork Monday for his transition to power, announcing a visit to Germany and a name change for his political movement and appearing with his predecessor at a solemn World War II commemoration. Macron's victory has been hailed as a major setback for the wave of far-right populism spreading through Europe. Between Le Pen, François Fillon, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon-the second-, third-, and fourth-place candidates in the first round of the election-and various fringe parties, more than two-thirds of French voters went for euro-skeptic candidates.

The result came at the end of a tumultuous campaign that saw Macron and Le Pen come out on top of a field of 11 candidates in an initial round of voting, capturing 24 percent and 21 percent respectively.

With almost 47 million registered voters, abstentions amounted to 25.44 percent, up from 22.23 percent in the first round, the ministry said.

This result has not gone any way towards closing the equality gaps that have fed support for the National Front and Le Pen.

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