The pro-EU politician Emmanuel Macron was tonight elected as France’s youngest ever president with a projected landslide of 65.5 per cent.
Macron, 39, beat far-right National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen, 48, in an election that will have widespread repercussions for the future of Europe.
An official preliminary result released at 8pm local time showed Macron received 65.5 per cent of the vote and had earned a clear 31-point victory over Le Pen.
Just 15 minutes after the exit polls were announced, Le Pen conceded and revealed she phoned Macron to ‘congratulate’ him on his election victory.
And at 11pm local time, Macron addressed thousands of his adoring supporters who had gathered at his election victory rally outside the Louvre in central Paris.
He walked across the sprawling historic courtyard to the music of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, the European Union anthem, and said: ‘Europe and the world are waiting for us to defend the spirit of the enlightenment everywhere.’
Scroll down for videos
Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte (pictured) addressed his adoring supporters outside the Louvre in central Paris just hours after he was elected the youngest French president
Macron, 39, raised his hands as thousands of his supporters waved French flags and listened to him say that he will ‘defend the spirit of the enlightenment everywhere’
Emmanuel Macron (pictured) addressed a jubilant crowd in Paris on Sunday evening and said: ‘Thank you my friends. Thank you for being here tonight. You have fought with courage
Emmanuel Macron, 39, and his wife Brigitte, 64, waved to their supporters after he gave a speech in Paris on Sunday evening
The married couple were mobbed by fans as they went to vote at the polling station in Le Touquet this morning. Exit polls suggest he has won the election with 65.5 per cent of the vote
Macron spoke one hour after the exit polls indicated he had won the election and had become France’s youngest ever president and said a ‘new page of our history’ has turned
Macron, a former banker, waved to supporters as he left his home in Le Touquet, northern France, flanked by bodyguards to go and vote this morning
A couple were photographed kissing in Pairs after it was announced that Emmanuel Macron would become the new president of France
Macron supporters had gathered at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris to celebrate the exit polls which showed the 39-year-old had won 65.5 per cent of the vote
Supporters of French independent centrist presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron, reacted outside his campaign headquarters in Paris on Sunday
A woman reacted with jubilation as the exit polls indicated that Macron had won 65.5 per cent of the vote in the tense election
Addressing the jubilant crowd with a beaming smile, he said: ‘Thank you my friends. Thank you for being here tonight. You have fought with courage.
‘What we have done for so many months, everyone thought it was impossible, but they didn’t know France. I thank you for your trust. Thank you for the risk some have taken.’
Mr Macron also addressed those who had voted for Le Pen, telling the crowd: ‘They have expressed today anger.
‘I respect them and I will do everything in the five years that come for there to be no reason to vote for extremists. Today there are just the French. France reunited.’
Mr Macron repeatedly said the task before him was ‘immense’ adding that Europe and the world were looking to France. He added that he would work to ‘reform our Europe’.
Mr Macron said that France had ‘chosen audacity’ and promised to serve his country with ‘humility and strength’.
He added: ‘This evening it is Europe and it is the world that are watching us. Europe and the world are waiting for us to defend the spirit of the enlightenment everywhere, threatened in so many places.
‘They expect us to defend liberties everywhere, that we protect the oppressed. They are waiting for us to have a new hope, a new humanism, a more secure world, a world of freedom, a world of more growth, more justice, more ecology. They await us finally.
‘The task before us is immense and will begin tomorrow. It will require making public life more responsible, defending our democratic values, strengthening our economy, building the new protections of this world around us, giving a place to everyone, rebuilding our Europe and ensuring the safety of all the French.’
He ended his speech with the immortal French words: ‘Long live the Republic, long live France’.
During the campaign, Le Pen had hoped that the surprise election of Donald Trump in America, and the Brexit result in the UK, would favour her hardline opposition to the EU, globalisation and immigration.
But instead it was Macron who celebrated in front of crowds of supporters outside the Louvre in central Paris.
According to the latest polls, the 39-year-old (pictured) will become the country’s youngest president of all time and move to the Elysee Palace
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen (pictured) reaveled this evening that she has phoned Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him
Brigitte Macron (pictured) was her husband’s former schoolteacher and blew a kiss to supporters during the tense vote on Sunday
Macron supporters looked relieved as they celebrated the announcement at around 7pm by hugging each other in central Paris
Young men and women jumped and danced together after learning that Macron is to become the new French president
A couple kissed each other and waved French flags in front of the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris following the announcement at around 8pm local time
On Sunday morning, National Front candidate casts her ballot in Henin-Beaumont after Femen protesters were cleared from outside the polling station
Macron (pictured on Sunday) will become France’s youngest president after he received around 65.5 per cent of the vote in the tense election
Supporters of newly-elected president Macron waved French flags after the announcement confirmed he won the election on Sunday
A church, acting as a polling station in Henin-Beaumont, saw the protest from feminist activist group Femen. The activists were detained after the protest, the latest in many demonstrations against Le Pen
‘I WISH HIM SUCCESS IN THE FACE OF THE IMMENSE CHALLENGES FACING FRANCE’, SAYS LE PEN
Speaking after the exit polls showed Macron had won the election, Le Pen (pictured) said she had phoned to congratulate him on his victory
Marine Le Pen delivered her concession speech less than 15 minutes after official exit polls confirmed her devastating defeat.
Speaking to an audience of party officials and close aides she said she would create a new force in French politics pitting ‘patriots against globalists’.
She said: ‘The French have chosen a new president of the republic and voted to continuity. I congratulate him on his election because I have the best interests of the country at heart, I wish him success.
‘I wish him success in the face of the immense challenges facing France.
‘I would like thank the 11 million French people who gave me their voice and their confidence.
‘I want to thank the activists who have supported and accompanied me throughout this campaign.
‘I would like to thank [rival election candidate turned support Nicolas] Dupont-Aignan and his party Debout La France for their courageous choice.
‘The French people have chosen a patriotic and republican alliance as the first force of opposition.
‘The political groups who have taken the responsibility to elect Mr Macron have been discredited. The first round showed a breakdown in French politics with the elimination of the old parties.
‘The second round created a realignment of politics split between patriots and globalists. This choice between patriots and globalists will be presented to the French people in the parliamentary elections.
‘I will be at the head of this fight to gather together all of those who choose France first.
‘The Front National must renew itself to live up to this historic opportunity and expectations of the French people.
‘I plan to begin the transformation of our movement to create a new political force.
‘I am calling all patriots to join and participate in the decisive political battle that begins tonight.
‘More than ever in the coming months France will need you.
‘Long live the Republic, Long live France.’
Macron has erased Louis Napoleon Bonaparte’s record as the youngest ever president and said he would fight with all his might against all inequality in French society.
In his election victory speech, he said: ‘This is a new democratic landscape. Today you’ve agreed to put your trust in me and it’s a great honour and responsibility, as nothing was written in stone.
‘I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I want to speak to all citizens now. No matter who you voted for, I do not hold anything against you.
‘We need to deal with the economy and the moral weakness of the country. I want to address my opponent, Marine Le Pen.
‘I know the divisions of our nations have pushed people to extremes and I know the anger and the doubt in our country. It’s my duty to listen to this.
‘It’s about organising solidarity, fighting all forms of inequality and discrimination, ensuring unity and guaranteeing the security of the nation.’
His supporters had already flocked on to esplanade in front of the most popular museum in the world when the results were announced, waving red-white-and-blue French flags and chanting ‘Macron, President!’
British Prime Minister Theresa May ‘warmly congratulated’ Macron on his victory in the French presidential race and said ‘we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities;.
Mrs May’s message comes after Macron described Britain’s exit from the EU as ‘a crime’, and revealed he favours a so called ‘Hard Brexit’ which will see the UK excluded from Europe’s single market.
Despite this he and his wife, Brigitte, 64, have admitted that they have strong personal links with Britain, and often holiday in cities such as London and Bristol.
Mrs Macron – her husband’s former schoolteacher in the northern French town of Amiens – said at the weekend: ‘We both absolutely love Britain, and make sure we visit every year – this won’t change.’
Mrs Macron, who has three grown-up children from a first marriage, will now become first lady of France when the couple move into the Elysee Palace following an inauguration ceremony later this month.
US President Donald Trump also congratulated Macron and tweeted: ‘Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!’
Participation in the election by by 7pm was 74 per cent, a relatively low turnout compared to previous elections.
The area outside the Carrousel du Louvre was a sea of blue, white and red as Macron supporters celebrated his victory over Le Pen
The result was met with huge cheers from the Macron camp as exit polls showed he had won the election by 31 points
US President Donald Trump congratulated Macron after his ‘big win’ on Sunday and added that he is ‘looking forward’ to working with him
British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted that she ‘warmly congratulates’ Macron and wrote that she is ‘looking forward’ to working with him
Macron supporters drank champagne to celebrate his victory in the crucial election which sees him become France’s youngest president
The Macrons today voted in the town hall in Le Touquet, on the English Channelcoast, where they share a beachside home with their Argentine Mastiff dog, Figaro.
Le Pen meanwhile voted in Henin-Beaumont, the former coalmining town just 75 miles from Le Touquet.
She is massively in favour of Brexit, and wants France to follow suit with its own Frexit vote – one that would almost certainly lead to the collapse of the whole European project.
Le Pen has continually failed to win a parliamentary seat in Henin-Beaumont – where she shares a flat with her partner, Louis Aliot – and this is her second failed presidential election campaign.
Tonight the couple were attending an FN party at a functions chalet in Vincennes – the eastern Paris suburb where King Henry Vof England died in 1422.
Le Pen had been continually trailing Mr Macron in opinion polls since the pair beat off competition from nine other candidates and made it through the first round of voting two weeks ago.
Macron will take over from Socialist president Francois Hollande, whose five years in power have led to spiralling unemployment and other economic problems.
The end of the campaign was blighted on Friday night when suspected Russian hackers posted previously confidential data belonging to En Marche! (On the Move!), Macron’s electoral movement.
Ina statement, Macron’s team described this as ‘democratic destabilisation, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the United States.’
Macron was a fierce critic of Le Pen too, describing his opponent as ‘the high priestess of fear’, and saying she needed to stop her ‘idiocies’ and lies’.
In turn, Le Pen said Macron, a former unelected finance minister in France’s Socialist government and Rothschild banker, was a ‘darling of the system’, who wanted to turn the country ‘into a trading floor’.
Macron’s first big challenge as President will be to built a majority in the National Assembly in parliamentary elections that take place in June.
Le Pen (pictured) continually trailed Macron in opinion polls since the pair beat off competition from nine other candidates and made it through the first round of voting two weeks ago
Le Pen spoke to fans after casting her vote in Henin-Beaumont. The anti-globalist wanted to introduce protectionist policies favouring French workers, and strengthen borders, while ending all immigration, legal or not
Le Pen left the Henin Beaumont polling station clutching flowers and travelled to Paris to await the results which were announced later on Sunday night
Front-runner Macron (pictured) voted in the coastal town of Le Tourquet in northern France alongside his wife, Brigitte
France’s Interior Ministry said voter turnout at midday was running slightly lower than during the last presidential runoff in 2012
Unions are reportedly already planning a protest on Monday and Femen activists were photographed holding flares while standing on a church in Henin-Beaumont
For security reasons, Macron was driven to his nearby polling station at Le Touquet City Hall. He shook hands with a large crowd of supporters before voting
Last night some 10,000 Macron supporters filled the courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris, waving the tricolour French flag, alongside the starred EU banner.
In contrast, Le Pen – who had called for France to quit the EU in its own Frexit – held a smaller consolation rally in a restaurant on the outskirts of the city, with only hard-line supporters invited.
During the day the Louvre courtyard was evacuated and shut off for just over two hours when police were called to deal with a suspect package found in the media tent.
Ballots were cast by voters protected by private security guards, searching bags and frisking people at entrances, as armed police and soldiers are outlawed from protecting 67,000 French polling stations.
However the 50,000 policemen and gendarmes, together with 7,000 soldiers, on standby were not required.
Macron has previously pledged to start a ‘rebirth’ of the European project with his pledge to strengthen EU external borders with a 5,000 strong force.
He also wants to maintain the Schengen free-travel zone and appoint a finance minister for the eurozone.
Macron argued that Britain must be dealt a hard Brexit in which the UK leaves the single market, with no free movement, and a completely renegotiated trade deal.
Speaking in October 2016 he said: ‘I am attached to a strict approach to Brexit: I respect the British vote but the worst thing would be a sort of weak EU vis-a-vis the British.
‘I don’t want a tailor-made approach where the British have the best of two worlds. ‘That will be too big an incentive for others to leave and kill the European idea, which is based on shared responsibilities.’
Both candidates voted early on Sunday before heading to Paris. Macron arrived at the town hall in Le Touquet, on the English Channel coast, shortly after 10.30am, with his wife Brigitte, 64.
Despite the couple living around the corner with their Argentine Mastiff dog, Figaro, they were in a five-car convoy and surrounded by at least a dozen armed security guards and police officers.
Macron looked confident on Sunday morning as he put his ballot paper in a box at the start of a contest, and exit polls suggested he has won 65.5 per cent of the vote
Despite the couple living around the corner with their Argentine Mastiff dog, Figaro, they were in a five-car convoy and surrounded by at least a dozen armed security guards and police officers
Presidential candidate Macron was pictured leaving his home to make his way to a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France
Macron (pictured) has described Brexit as ‘a crime’ and wants the UK to be denied any special privileges as it negotiates its way out of the EU
Marine Le Pen (centre) was escorted by her bodyguard Thierry Legier (second from left) as she walked out the polling station on Sunday morning
The French presidential election was rocked by a security alert in the heart of Paris at about 1pm after the courtyard outside the Louvre museum was evacuated (pictured) on police orders after a bomb threat
Macron’s campaign press office said it was a ‘suspicious bag’ that prompted the evacuation and sniffer dog search. The museum was reopened some 90 minutes later
Brigitte Macron met her husband in 1992, when he was just 15 years old, and a pupil at a private school in Amiens. She was his teacher
Le Pen, voted in Henin-Beaumont, the former coal mining town just 75 miles from Le Touquet.
Topless feminist activists, who had climbed on to the roof of the church, hung a banner and shouted anti Le Pen chants, were removed and briefly detained by police before the candidate arrived.
The Femen protest was the latest in many demonstrations against Le Pen or against both candidates. Unions are reportedly already planning a protest on Monday.
Macron, the former Socialist economy minister and one-time banker was all smiles as he stepped out of his holiday home in the seaside resort this morning.
For security reasons, Macron was surrounded by armed security and driven from his nearby home to the polling station in a five-car convoy.
The French presidential election was rocked by a security alert in the heart of Paris at about 1pm. The courtyard outside the Louvre museum, where Macron plans to hold an election night victory party, was evacuated on police orders after a bomb threat.
Macron’s campaign press office said it was a ‘suspicious bag’ that prompted the evacuation and the museum was reopened some 90 minutes later.
The family of Macron’s wife, Brigitee, have run a chocolate shop ‘Jean Trogneux’ for five generations in Amiens, his hometown
Macron grew up in the workers quarters (pictured) in rue Gaulthier de Rumilly in Amiens. Macron has argued that France must rethink its labour laws to better compete globally and appealed for unity and tolerance
The topless women climbed on to the roof of the church, hung a big banner and chanted against far-right Marine Le Pen’s National Front party
French President Francois Hollande was mobbed by the press as he left a polling station in Tulle this morning
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and his wife Carla Bruni (centre) were photographed voting at a polling station in Paris
Hollande, the most unpopular French leader in the country’s modern history, decided not to stand for re-election last year
Outgoing French president Francois Hollande cast his vote in the runoff election to replace him in his political fiefdom of Tulle in southwestern France.
Hollande, the most unpopular French leader in the country’s modern history, decided not to stand for re-election last year.
The Socialist president called on voters to back centrist Macron, his former protégé. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni were also photographed voting at a polling station in Paris.
Yesterday the rest of the world watched as the most unpredictable and important French presidential campaign in recent memory ended with a hacking attack targeting Macron on Friday night, just hours before the country went into media blackout.
France’s government cybersecurity agency, ANSSI, is investigating the hack, which Macron’s team says was aimed at destabilising the vote.
Fears of outside meddling hung over the race after France’s election campaign commission said yesterday that ‘a significant amount of data’, along with some fake information, was leaked on social networks following the hacking attack on Macron.
The leaked documents appeared largely mundane, and the perpetrators remain unknown. It’s unclear whether the document dump will dent the large polling lead Macron held over Le Pen going into the vote. The Paris prosecutors’ office said it has launched an investigation following the attack.
The commission urged French media and citizens not to pay attention to the leaked documents. French electoral laws impose a weekend news blackout on any campaigning and media coverage seen as swaying the election meaning Le Pen’s campaign could not formally respond due to the blackout.
Sarkozy served as president from 2007 until 2012. Before his presidency, he was the leader of the Union for a Popular Movement party
With Macron the pollsters’ favourite, voting stations opened across mainland France at 8am (6am GMT) under the watch of 50,000 security forces guarding against extremist attacks
Voters descended on polling stations across France this morning in an unusually tense election that could decide the future of Europe
The French had stark choice between two candidates – pro-business independent Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen
The far right candidate has made no secret of her dream to quit the EU and its common currency. Macron on-the-other-hand is an unabashed pro-European who wants to strengthen the bloc
Le Pen has broadened the party’s appeal by tapping into, and fueling, anger at globalisation and fears associated with immigration and Islamic extremism
Yesterday the rest of the world watched as the most unpredictable and important French presidential campaign in recent memory ended with a hacking attack targeting Macron
Pictured left: Special macarons in the family chocolate shop. Pictured right: Macron’s childhood home in Amiens
Fears of outside meddling hung over the race after France’s election campaign commission said yesterday that ‘a significant amount of data’, along with some fake information, was leaked on social networks following the hacking attack on Macron