In Blow To Populist Upsurge, Macron Wins French Elections

Emmanuel Macron (Photo: Reuters)

France’s centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right rival in closely watched elections on Sunday, leveling a blow to a populist upsurge that challenged some moderate governments and seized powers in some.

Mr. Macron’s victory will be celebrated by European leaders, who watched warily as Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist, conceded defeat on Sunday. Her party promised to push France out of the European Union, a move that would possibly spell the end of the bloc.

Mr. Macron is only 39 years old and served for two years as economy minister. He never held office in the past and is now France’s youngest leader in 200 years.

Most polling companies projected Mr. Macron leading by 65 percent, with Mrs. Le Pen trailing by 20 percent behind. Mr. Macron’s victory was already a foregone conclusion and the far-right nationalists had their best electoral performance since the World War II.

Mrs. Le Pen’s anti-immigrant, anti-globalist and euro-skeptic policies consolidated left and centrist voters around Mr. Macron during the 2nd round of voting.

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