Emmanuel Macron defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election on a pro-business, pro-European Union platform. The 44-year-old Macron has become the first incumbent to win a second term since Jacques Chirac two decades ago. With campaigning shaped by the war in Ukraine, his pledge to make France a cornerstone of a stronger, more integrated EU won over the nativism and protectionism championed by Le Pen.
Yet the margin of victory is far slimmer than last time, when Macron beat Le Pen by more than 30 points. The rise in support for her nationalist program reflects a divided country. However, Macron sought to reach out to his opponents in his victory speech, urging his supporters not to boo his rival.
“I am no longer the candidate for one side, I am the president for everyone,” he said at a rally beneath the Eiffel Tower in the center of the French capital. He acknowledged that many people had voted for him simply to stop the advance of the far-right, rather than because they backed his ideas.