https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10750437/French-media-decry-Macrons-victory-without-triumph-Le-Pen-celebrates-best-result-far-right.html

French media decry Macron’s ‘victory without triumph’: Marine Le Pen celebrates best ever result for the far right and new polls show majority do not want Emmanuel to win June’s parliamentary vote

  • Emmanuel Macron won French presidential election with 58.54% – beating Marine Le Pen on 41.46%
  • But Macron’s latest victory was narrower than their last face-off in 2017 where he won with 66% of the vote
  • Marine Le Pen’s result was the best ever for the far right with 13.2 million people voting for her on Sunday

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Emmanuel Macron‘s victory over his far-right rival Marine Le Pen has been described as a ‘victory without triumph’ by the French media after the National Rally gathered an unprecedented number of votes.

Mr Macron, the 44-year-old centrist, won with a 58.54 per cent share of the vote – beating the far-Right Ms Le Pen, 53, on 41.46 per cent, the final results showed.

But his latest victory over his far-right rival was narrower than their last face-off in 2017, when he won over 66 per cent of the vote, and Le Pen’s result was the best ever for the far right with 13.2 million people voting for her.

And in a sign of trouble to come, two polls published late Sunday showed that most voters do not wish for him to also carry the parliamentary vote in the forthcoming June elections.

Whilst Le Pen did not win on Sunday, with 41.5 per cent of the vote, Le Pen’s anti-foreigner, anti-system politics of disgruntlement are now more entrenched than ever in the psyche, thinking and political landscape of France. 

French daily Le Monde called Macron’s win ‘an evening of victory without a triumph’ after noting a ‘historic’ number of votes for the far-right, while left-leaning Liberation called it ‘a victory without the glory’.

Conservative daily Le Figaro, which ran the front page headline of ‘Great victory, great challenges’, said after all the difficulties of his first term, Macron’s win was ‘no mean feat’, but also asked: ‘Who can possibly believe that it is rooted in popular support?’ 

In a striking sign of public disenchantment with politics, 8.6 percent of people who voted either delivered a blank ballot or spoilt their papers, interior ministry figures showed.

Turnout was also just 72 per cent, the lowest in any presidential election second-round run-off since 1969.

Emmanuel Macron’s victory over his far-right rival Marine Le Pen has been described as a ‘victory without triumph’ by the French media after the National Rally gathered an unprecedented number of votes

But his latest victory over his far-right rival was narrower than their last face-off in 2017, when he won over 66 per cent of the vote, and Marine Le Pen's result was the best ever for the far right with 13.2 million people voting for her

But his latest victory over his far-right rival was narrower than their last face-off in 2017, when he won over 66 per cent of the vote, and Marine Le Pen’s result was the best ever for the far right with 13.2 million people voting for her

Conservative daily Le Figaro ran a front page with the headline 'Great victory, great challenges', said after all the challenges of his first term, Macron's win was 'no mean feat', but also asked: 'Who can possibly believe that it is rooted in popular support?'

French daily Le Monde ran their front page with the headline: Emmanuel macron re-elected President - The far right at a historic level

Conservative daily Le Figaro (left) ran a front page with the headline ‘Great victory, great challenges’, said after all the challenges of his first term, Macron’s win was ‘no mean feat’, but also asked: ‘Who can possibly believe that it is rooted in popular support?’. Meanwhile French daily Le Monde (right) ran their front page with the headline: Emmanuel macron re-elected President – The far right at a historic level

Other headlines today include La Croix's 'Everything still to do', and Libération's, 'And who do you thank?' as France recognised the job the president has on his hands to unite the country

Other headlines today include La Croix’s ‘Everything still to do’, and Libération’s, ‘And who do you thank?’ as France recognised the job the president has on his hands to unite the country

A newspaper with the headline "yes, but" displays French President Emmanuel Macron's victory in the presidential election in Marseille

A newspaper with the headline ‘yes, but’ displays French President Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the presidential election in Marseille

Marine Le Pen is pictured today at the RN party headquarters after her defeat in the second round of the election

Marine Le Pen is pictured today at the RN party headquarters after her defeat in the second round of the election

Macron celebrates his re-election with his wife Brigitte at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower as supporters wave French and EU flags

Macron celebrates his re-election with his wife Brigitte at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower as supporters wave French and EU flags

Macron to face challenge of parliamentary elections in June

Emmanuel Macron faces the challenge of parliamentary elections in June, where keeping a majority will be critical to ensuring he can realise his ambitions. 

But in a sign of trouble to come, two polls published late Sunday showed that most voters do not wish for him to win the parliamentary vote as well.

Prime Minister Jean Castex is expected to submit his government’s resignation in the coming days. Mr Macron will then appoint a new caretaker government, but ministers will only be in place for a few weeks.

Nationwide parliamentary elections, scheduled in two rounds on June 12 and 19, will decide who controls a majority of the 577 seats at the National Assembly.

If Mr Macron’s party wins, he will name a new government accordingly and will be able to pass laws.

If another party gets a majority of seats, he will be forced to appoint a prime minister belonging to that new majority.

In such a situation, called ‘cohabitation’ in France, the government would implement policies that diverge from Mr Macron’s project. The French president would have sway, however, over the country’s foreign policy.

Marine Le Pen 53, said after her defeat on Sunday she would ‘never abandon’ the French and was already preparing for the June legislative elections.

‘Macron’s biggest challenge will be to create a sense of cohesion in an extremely fragmented country,’ said Tara Varma, senior policy fellow and head of the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. 

‘Le Pen will do her best to capitalise on her result for the June parliamentary elections.’

Meanwhile hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon called the parliamentary elections as a ‘third round’ of the presidential election, with opposition parties of all stripes hoping they can win this time.

‘The recomposition of the French political landscape is not over. The majority that emerges from the parliamentary elections will be decisive for economic policy,’ said Amundi Chief Investment Officer Vincent Mortier.

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Le Pen, 53, said she would ‘never abandon’ the French and was already preparing for the June legislative elections.

‘In this defeat, I can’t help but feel a form of hope,’ she said, adding that the result represents a ‘brilliant victory’.

For headscarf-wearing voter Yasmina Aksas, Le Pen’s defeat wasn’t a celebration moment – not with such strong backing for her and ideas that ‘used to be limited to militant far-right groups’ becoming increasingly acceptable in polite company.

‘It’s still 40 per cent of people voting for Le Pen,’ the 19-year-old law student said. ‘It’s not a victory.’

The historic gains for the far right dampened the French leader’s celebrations on Sunday night. Addressing supporters in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Macron vowed to heal rifts in a deeply divided country.

‘From now on, I am not the candidate of one camp, but everybody’s president,’ he said.

‘Many of our fellow citizens voted for me not because of the ideas I represent, but to block those of the extreme right,’ Macron acknowledged.

The president now faces the challenge of parliamentary elections in June, where keeping a majority will be critical to ensuring he can realise his ambitions.

‘Macron’s biggest challenge will be to create a sense of cohesion in an extremely fragmented country,’ said Tara Varma, senior policy fellow and head of the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. 

‘Le Pen will do her best to capitalise on her result for the June parliamentary elections.’ 

Several hundred demonstrators from ultra-left groups took to the streets in some French cities late Sunday in protest at the election outcome. Police used tear gas to disperse gatherings in Paris and the western city of Rennes.

By championing cost-of-living issues, befriending the working class, changing her party’s name and distancing herself from her father, Le Pen broadened her appeal and made herself less scary to growing swaths of France’s electorate.

And so although Macron became the first French president in 20 years to win a second term, he also has failed: Failed to achieve the goal that he set himself at the outset of his presidency.

Five years ago, in his triumphant victory speech, Macron pledged to cut the ground from under Le Pen’s feet by assuaging the voter anger she feeds on.

‘I will do everything in the five years to come so there is no more reason to vote for the extremes,’ he said.

Yet France’s extremes are now doing better than ever, finding growing, enthusiastic and completely unabashed audiences for ‘us against them’ far-right rhetoric.

Mr Macron, the 44-year-old centrist, won with a 58.54 per cent share of the vote – beating the far-Right Ms Le Pen, 53, on 41.46 per cent, the final results showed

Mr Macron, the 44-year-old centrist, won with a 58.54 per cent share of the vote – beating the far-Right Ms Le Pen, 53, on 41.46 per cent, the final results showed

France's centrist incumbent president Emmanuel Macron stands with his wife Brigitte Macron after he beats his far-right rival Marine Le Pen for a second five-year term as president on Sunday

France’s centrist incumbent president Emmanuel Macron stands with his wife Brigitte Macron after he beats his far-right rival Marine Le Pen for a second five-year term as president on Sunday

Jordan Bardella, deputy leader of the National Rally party, is one of the frontrunners to succeed Le Pen if she chooses to stand down

Jordan Bardella, deputy leader of the National Rally party, is one of the frontrunners to succeed Le Pen if she chooses to stand down

Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron gather after the second round of voting in the presidential election on the Champ de Mars

Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron gather after the second round of voting in the presidential election on the Champ de Mars

Sunday's vote was the third successive presidential defeat for Marine Le Pen, but was her strongest showing yet at the ballot box

Sunday’s vote was the third successive presidential defeat for Marine Le Pen, but was her strongest showing yet at the ballot box

What next for Le Pen? 

Sunday’s vote was the third successive presidential defeat for Marine Le Pen, but was her strongest showing yet at the ballot box.

In 2012, she failed to make it past the first round, securing 17.9 per cent in third place to Francois Hollande and Nicholas Sarkozy.

Five years later, she went one better but was roundly trounced by Emmanuel Macron’s new En Marche! party, receiving just 33.9 per cent in the run-off.

After another blow, many have questioned whether the politician may now decide to pack it in and become a full-time cat breeder.

She said last year: ‘I have become a cat breeder. It’s a passion. One can do politics while having a profession, or turn a passion into a profession.’

She added last month: ‘I will not stand [for president] again. But I will continue to do what I have done for years, I will defend the French. I don’t know in what role, but it will be in one where I am most effective.’ 

But others say her increasing vote share in each election fight shows she could soon be in the Elysee Palace.

Her first comments following her defeat indicate she will stay on as National Rally leader, saying she will ‘never abandon France.

She told supporters: ‘Millions of our compatriots have chosen us and change. We are more determined than ever and our determination to defend the French people is greater than ever. This defeat is in itself a form of hope.

‘I will continue my commitment to France and the French. It’s not over. In a few weeks we have the legislative elections.’

The politician also appealed to all who reject Macron to ‘join me as the main opposition party of France’.

Some believe her stance is an attempt to stop internal plots to topple her as leader, with many in the party believing France will never vote for a member of the Le Pen family.

Among those looking to usurp her grip on the far-right are deputy leader Jordan Bardella, 26, Eric Zemmour, the controversial polemicist who was knocked out in the first round of votes, and Le Pen’s niece Marion Maréchal.

At 53, Le Pen is a relative youngster in French politics but if she chooses to relinquish her hold on the party, she will have a huge say on its future direction.

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In his victory speech, Macron promised his next five-year term would respond to the frustrations of voters who backed Le Pen.

‘An answer must be found to the anger and disagreements that led many of our compatriots to vote for the extreme right,’ he told thousands of cheering supporters.

‘It will be my responsibility and that of those around me.’

He also pledged that this ‘new era’ would not be one of ‘continuity with the last term which is now ending’.

The June 12 and June 19 parliamentary elections will be what hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon immediately called a ‘third round’ of the presidential election, with opposition parties of all stripes hoping they can win this time.

‘The recomposition of the French political landscape is not over. The majority that emerges from the parliamentary elections will be decisive for economic policy,’ said Amundi Chief Investment Officer Vincent Mortier.

The message across the Macron camp on Monday morning was that they would listen more, after a first mandate in which Macron himself initially called his leadership style ‘Jupiterian’, suggesting he would stay above the political fray.

‘When a proposal that affects the lives of the French comes to the National Assembly, the deputies must go and discuss it with the French,’ parliament leader Richard Ferrand, a close ally of Macron, told France Inter.

‘Otherwise, there is a risk of a divide between parliamentarians and what the French feel.’

After a campaign dominated by cost of living issues, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Franceinfo that price caps on energy would stay until the end of the year, to ease the surge in energy prices fuelled by the Ukraine war.

For Le Pen, her third defeat in a presidential poll was a bitter pill after she ploughed years of effort into making herself electable and distancing her party from the legacy of its founder, her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Macron’s re-election sparked relief across Europe where many felt a Le Pen presidency would have left the continent rudderless following Brexit and the departure from politics of German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called Macron’s victory ‘great news for all of Europe’ while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said French voters ‘sent a strong vote of confidence in Europe today’.

European Council president Charles Michel said the bloc could now ‘count on France for five more years’ while European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she was ‘delighted’.

Macron will now try to implement his vision of more pro-business reform and tighter EU integration, after a first term shadowed by protests, then the coronavirus pandemic and finally Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Tiphaine Auziere, daughter of Brigitte Macron, attends Emmanuel Macron's victory celebration at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night

Tiphaine Auziere, daughter of Brigitte Macron, attends Emmanuel Macron's victory celebration at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night

Tiphaine Auziere, daughter of Brigitte Macron, attends Emmanuel Macron’s victory celebration at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night

Police arrest a man during a protest of centrist incumbent President Emmanuel Macron's defeat of far-right rival Marine Le Pen on Sunday

Police arrest a man during a protest of centrist incumbent President Emmanuel Macron’s defeat of far-right rival Marine Le Pen on Sunday

Parisians clashe with riot police during a protest against the election of France's centrist incumbent president Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday

Parisians clashe with riot police during a protest against the election of France’s centrist incumbent president Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday

Parisians clash with riot police during a protest against the election of Macron in Paris, France, on Sunday

Parisians clash with riot police during a protest against the election of Macron in Paris, France, on Sunday

France's centrist incumbent president Emmanuel Macron beats his far-right rival Marine Le Pen for a second five-year term as president

France’s centrist incumbent president Emmanuel Macron beats his far-right rival Marine Le Pen for a second five-year term as president

French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) presidential candidate Le Pen (R) is applauded by supporters as she embraces her mother Pierrette in Paris

French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) presidential candidate Le Pen (R) is applauded by supporters as she embraces her mother Pierrette in Paris

People hugged each other, danced and chanted 'Macron!' and ‘Five more years!’

People hugged each other, danced and chanted ‘Macron!’ and ‘Five more years!’

Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron hold placards reading 'Emmanuel Macron With You'

Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron hold placards reading ‘Emmanuel Macron With You’

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