President Emmanuel Macron defeated far-right challenger Marine Le Pen by a wide margin, according to final results released on Monday, but he showed no triumphalism as he acknowledged widespread discontent and all eyes turned to the June parliamentary elections.
Macron received 58.54 percent of the vote, a far cry from his 66.1 percent victory over Le Pen in their first meeting in 2017, and a far cry from the 82 percent received by conservative Jacques Chirac in 2002, when the far-right first made it to the second round of France’s presidential election.
“Many people in this country voted for me not because they agree with my ideas, but to keep the far-right out. I want to thank them and acknowledge that I will be indebted to them in the future “Macron stated this in a victory speech delivered late at night.
“Because our country is riddled with so many doubts and divisions, we will have to be benevolent and respectful.”
The parliamentary elections on June 12 and June 19 will be a “third round” of the presidential election, according to hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon, with opposition parties of all stripes hoping to win this time.