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Macron vows to be ‘everyone’s president’ and heal divided France in victory speech

Macron vows to be ‘everyone’s president’ and heal divided France in victory speech
Centrist vows to respond to concerns of those who voted far-right or abstained

Emmanuel Macron has vowed to lead France through “historic” years to come after being re-elected as president.

The 44-year-old said he would tackle the next five years with “ambition and goodwill” and leave no one behind as he took to the stage following his election victory on Sunday night.

“I’m not the candidate of one faction anymore, but the president for all of us,” Mr Macron said.

The centrist addressed supporters outside the Eiffel Tower shortly after the first exit polls predicted he would win the 2022 presidential election.

Crowds waved flags and “One More Time” by Daft Punk blared from speakers as the crowd celebrated at the Champs de Mars in Paris on Sunday evening.

<p>Emmanuel Macron has won the presidency for a second time, according to exit polls </p>

Emmanuel Macron has won the presidency for a second time, according to exit polls

The exit polls suggest Mr Macron will comfortably beat the far-right’s Marine Le Pen in a presidential race for a second time.

But his opponent was forecast to sweep up a larger share of votes than in 2017.

In his speech, the president said the country needed to be united to take on the challenges that await.

“The coming years won’t be easy,” he said. “But they will be historic. And together, we will write them for our generation.”

The French presidential election took place as the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its third month.

<p>This was the moment the exit poll result was announced </p>

This was the moment the exit poll result was announced

Mr Macron’s re-election spared France and Europe from the seismic upheaval of a shift of power to far right populist Marine Le Pen – who has faced intense scrunity over ties to Russia and previous friendliness with the Kremlin.

In his speech on Sunday evening, Mr Macron addressed the support for the far-right in the election, which was more than Ms Le Pen won when she previously lost in 2017.

Mr Macron said he understood these voters would be “disappointed” with the election result, to which the crowd of his supporters booed. “No,” the president said, shaking his head to bring it to an end.

“I know for a number of our compatriot that have chosen the far right today, the anger and disagreement that led them to vote for this project must get a response. That is my responsibility and those who surround me.”

<p>He has pledged to be a president ‘for all’  </p>

He has pledged to be a president ‘for all’

Ms Le Pen quickly conceded defeat after the exit polls pointed to a Macron win.

But she said the results pointed towards a “shining victory”, with polls pointing to her winning more than 40 per cent of votes.

In the 2017 election, she received 34 per cent of the votes to Mr Macron’s 66 per cent.

“The ideas we represent are reaching summits,” the National Rally leader – whose proposals involved policies targeting Muslims and putting French citizens first in line for jobs and benefits – said.

“I will continue the fight for France and the French people,” Ms Le Pen told supporters in a defiant speech shortly after the exit poll was announced on Sunday evening.

“I fear the next five years will not break with the contempt and the brutal policies of the last five years and Emmanuel Macron will do nothing to repair the divisions in our country.”

Ms Le Pen said she would never abandon the French people and said would lead the campaign for the parliamentary elections.

The Rassemblement National (RN) leader was able to break through the threshold of 40 per cent of the vote which is unprecedented for the French’s far-right.

She was previously beaten 66 per cent to 34 per cent by president Macron in 201 and her father received less than 20 per cent against Mr Chirac.

<p>Marine Le Pen gave her concession speech shortly after the exit poll   </p>

Marine Le Pen gave her concession speech shortly after the exit poll

After his victory, Mr Macron vowed to respond to those who abstained in the 2022 election.

As of Sunday night, these were forecast to make up 28.2 per cent of France’s nearly 49 million eligble voters – the highest level in decades.

The historic win was met, however, by protesters as riot police charged and sprayed teargas on demonstrators in central Paris.

Leaders in Berlin, Brussels, London and beyond welcomed his defeat of the nationalist, eurosceptic Le Pen.

Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on your re-election as president of France.

“France is one of our closest and most important allies. I look forward to continuing to work together on the issues which matter most to our two countries and to the world.”

“Bravo Emmanuel,” European Council president Charles Michel, wrote on Twitter. “In this turbulent period, we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union.”

“Congratulations to the President and a true friend Emmanuel Macron on the election victory,” Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on his Twitter account in early hours on Monday.

<p>Protesters gather in Paris on election night  </p>

Protesters gather in Paris on election night

“The financial markets will breathe a collective sigh of relief following Macron’s election victory,” said Seema Shah, Chief Strategist at Principal Global Investors.

Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada also congratulated Mr Macron, writing on Twitter: “Looking forward to continuing our work together on the issues that matter most to people in Canada and France – from defending democracy, to fighting climate change, to creating good jobs and economic growth for the middle class.”

He is the third president since the founding of modern France to win twice at the ballot box and the first since incumbent Jacques Chirac trounced Ms Le Pen’s father 20 years ago.