Centrist Emmanuel Macron has become France‘s youngest ever president, after picking up a massive vote of around 65 percent and easily beating his opponent, nationalist Marine Le Pen.

The 39-year-old gave a solemn victory speech in which he vowed to “unite” a divided France and bring “hope and renewed confidence” to the country.

“I know the divisions of our nation that led some to extreme votes,” he said. “I respect these. I know the anger, the anxiety, the doubts that some of you have also expressed. It is my responsibility to hear these. For the five years ahead, my responsibility will be to appease fears, to make us renewed with optimism, to find again the spirit of conquest which speaks better than anything of the French genius.”

His victory was hailed by supporters as holding back a tide of populism that saw Donald Trump elected in the United States and the United Kingdom‘s successful Brexit vote.

Le Pen, of the National Front, scored roughly 35 percent of the votes, far lower than her campaign polling numbers. She swiftly conceded defeat, but said she had won a “historic and massive” vote and vowed to radically overhaul her party and “transform” the far-right movement.

World leaders – including Trump and Malcolm Turnbull – are congratulating Macron on his victory.



Hillary Clinton
, on the other hand, posted this rather pointed tweet, amid reports that Russia was funding Le Pen’s party and that Russian hackers were behind a recent Macron email leak.


Source: ABC / The Guardian.

Photo: David Ramos / Getty.