French election live: Emmanuel Macron beats Marine Le Pen to be re-elected president, according to projections | French presidential election 2022

Macron re-elected French president, according to projections

Emmanuel Macron has beaten his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential elections, according to projections.

According to usually accurate estimates, the incumbent won between 57.6% and 58.2% of the vote, against 42.4% to 41.8% for the leader of the National Rally.

Mujtaba Rahman, Europe director at consultancy EurasiaGroup, believes this is a “great victory” for Macron, France and Europe, more comprehensive than the polls predicted, which will give him a boost to the approach of the June legislative elections:

It’s a great triumph for Emmanuel Macron, in all circumstances: a victory for Europe, a victory for democracy and above all a victory for France 1/2

— Mujtaba (Mij) Rahman (@Mij_Europe) April 24, 2022

Ségolène Royal, the socialist candidate defeated by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, warns of future trouble for Macron if he does not take into account the nature of his victory:

I think the French have been deprived of a real choice. It would be a serious mistake on the part of Emmanuel Macron to consider that this re-election allows him to continue to pursue the same policy, in the same way, for the next five years.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the radical left who could play a crucial role in the next legislative elections, speaks now:

Madame Le Pen was beaten. France has clearly refused to entrust its future to him, and this is very good news for the unity of our people.

However, Emmanuel Macron has become the most poorly elected president of the Fifth Republic. His victory floats in an ocean of abstentions and invalid ballots.

The “third round” is now underway and it is essential that the united forces of the left – the new People’s Union – secure a majority in the National Assembly.

Le Pen says the fight continues

Marine Le Pen now speaks, denouncing “two weeks of unfair tactics” since the first round.

Of course, we would have liked the result to be different. With more than 43% of the vote, this represents a resounding victory. Millions of our compatriots have chosen the National Rally.

We are more determined than ever. I have no resentment. We will not forget forgotten France. The ideas we represent have reached new heights. In this defeat, I can’t help but feel a hope.

Rejecting reports that she planned to retire if she did not win, she says she will “continue my commitment to France and the French”, adding that “in a few weeks, the legislative elections will take place. It is not finished yet. We declare the battle for parliament open.

Clément Beaune, Macron’s Minister for Europe, is among the first to react:

It is a clear victory, the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic that a president has been re-elected when he also has a majority in parliament. It’s important, it’s very important, because it was a political fight, a political fight against the extreme right.

That’s a difference of 16 percentage points for Emmanuel Macron, more than the largest winning margin predicted by any of the pre-election polls.

Macron re-elected French president, according to projections

Emmanuel Macron has beaten his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential elections, according to projections.

According to usually accurate estimates, the incumbent won between 57.6% and 58.2% of the vote, against 42.4% to 41.8% for the leader of the National Rally.

More than a quarter of an hour and the tension rises.

The outcome will also be closely watched across Europe. A victory for Le Pen would throw the EU into turmoil, as the Guardian’s Jennifer Rankin and I argued in this article:

Much of what the far-right leader wants to do – on the economy, social policy and immigration – involves breaking EU rules, and her eventual arrival at the Élysée could be prove catastrophic for the bloc of 27 members.

Le Pen may have abandoned previous promises to pull France – a founding member of the EU, its second-largest economy and half of the vital Franco-German engine that has powered it since its inception – out of the single euro currency and the block.

In the 2017 election, fears of the economic consequences of the policy, especially among older voters worried about their savings, are widely believed to have contributed to his heavy second-round loss to pro-European Emmanuel Macron.

This time, the EU does not even appear by name among the ten key themes of its electoral programme. However, many of its concrete policy proposals flagrantly contradict the obligations of EU membership.

Opponents and commentators have called the strategy “Frexit in all but name”: an approach which, if no longer aimed at removing France from the bloc, seeks to fundamentally reshape it, and which could lead to a crippling standoff with Brussels.

You can see read our full story here:

Most polling stations are now closed and we will have the first estimates of the result in about half an hour from now.

A reminder that these are not exit polls, but projections based on actual votes cast at a representative selection of polling stations across the country, which are then weighted by pollsters to give a national estimate of vote share.

These estimates are historically very accurate, so we can be pretty confident about the end result if there’s more than a percentage point difference between the contenders.

Three major polling institutes now predict an abstention rate of 28%, which would be the highest in France since 1969, reflecting the dissatisfaction of many voters with the choice offered to them (and the fact that it is the Easter holidays in much of the country).

Difficult to say which candidate would be the most impacted by a low national participation, because the regional distribution would be decisive. The real concern is after the vote, as being elected with a low turnout would inevitably lead to questions about the legitimacy of the incoming president.

It should be noted, however, that in many Western democracies, a turnout of 72% would be considered high.

French citizens overseas are also voting today, and The Guardian’s Matt Weaver spoke to some of the 116,595 of them who are registered to vote in London.

After spending three hours talking to dozens of voters, Matt says he “couldn’t find a single voter for the far-right candidate” – perhaps unsurprising given that in 2017 Macron won 95% of the vote in the second round in London.

Michelle Pickard, a French teacher, said:

The first priority is to block Le Pen, but I fully approve of Macron’s policy, and he is a real European and so am I. If he wins, it will be a small victory, and he will have to take on all those voters who are not happy with him.

Christian Eskenazi, a retired head sommelier, was less enthusiastic about the incumbent:

I find him too arrogant, but I’m pro-European and anti-Le Pen so I had to go. It was not a vote for a politician, it was a vote against an idea. My mother survived Auschwitz but she saw her mother and father die there. She has spent her life visiting schools as a witness against racism and xenophobia. She warned of the dangers of voting for the far right, and the danger is still there.

You can read Matt’s full story here:

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