Mr Macron is expected to drive a hard bargain over Brexit, striking a strident note during his campaign by warning that negotiations would be “no walk in the park” and that Britain would be left in “servitude” as a result of leaving the EU.
However, the result was welcomed by some senior Conservatives who argued Mr Macron would bring much-needed stability to Europe ahead of the Brexit negotiations.
“We don’t want to be negotiating with an EU in existential crisis – which it would be if Le Pen had won,” said Crispin Blunt, the Tory chairman of the Foreign Affairs select committee.
European leaders rushed to welcome the victory of Mr Macron who had flown EU flags at rallies throughout his campaign and has promised to lead a ‘rebirth’ of the European project.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, had a “very warm” call with Mr Macron, his team reported while the German chancellor called his election a “victory for a strong, united Europe”.
Ms Le Pen’s party had made it clear they were gunning for at least 40 per cent of the vote. She failed to achieve such heights, but her performance maintained her record of improving the Front National’s score in every election since she became leader in 2011.
With around 11 million votes in her favour, Ms Le Pen, 48, won more than twice the amount her estranged father and FN co-founder, Jean-Marie, mustered in 2002. Ms Le Pen said the “historic and massive result” turned her “patriotic and republican alliance” into the “main opposition force against the new president’s project”.
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