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French elections live: Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen and re-elected president, projections show | French presidential election 2022

Macron is projected to re-elect the French president

Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election, projections show.

According to usually accurate estimates, the holder won between 57.6% and 58.2% of the vote, against 42.4% to 41.8% for the leader of the Rassemblement National (National Rally).

Updated at 7:15 PM BST

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the radical left, who could play a key role in the upcoming parliamentary elections, now says:

Madame Le Pen was beaten. France has clearly refused to entrust it with its future, and that is very good news for the unity of our people.

However, Emmanuel Macron became the worst elected president of the Fifth Republic. His victory floats in the ocean of abstentions and corrupt ballots.

The “third round” is now under way and it is essential that the combined forces of the left – the new People’s Union – secure a majority in the National Assembly.

Le Pen says the fight continues

Marine Le Pen now speaks and condemns the “two weeks of unfair tactics” from the first round.

Of course, we would like the result to be different. With more than 43% of the vote, this represents a significant victory. Millions of our compatriots have chosen Rassemblement National.

We are more determined than ever. I have no resentment. We will not forget France, which is forgotten. The ideas we represent have reached new heights. I can’t help but defeat myself in this defeat.

He rejects reports that she planned to retire if she does not win, saying that “she will continue my commitment to France and the French” and adds that “parliamentary elections will take place in a few weeks. It’s not over yet. We declare the battle for parliament open. ”

Updated at 7:23 PM BST

Clément Beaune, Macron’s Minister for Europe, is among the first to respond:

This is a clear victory, for the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, when the president was re-elected while having a majority in parliament. It is important, it is very important, because this was a political struggle, a political struggle against the far right.

For Emmanuel Macron, this is a difference of 16 percentage points, which is more than the largest winning difference predicted by any of the polls.

Macron is projected to re-elect the French president

Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election, projections show.

According to usually accurate estimates, the holder won between 57.6% and 58.2% of the vote, against 42.4% to 41.8% for the leader of the Rassemblement National (National Rally).

Updated at 7:15 PM BST

Fifteen minutes to go and the tension, well, is rising.

The result will also be closely monitored throughout Europe. Le Pen’s victory would throw the EU into chaos, as Jennifer Rankin of the Guardian and I argued in this article:

Much of what the far-right leader wants to do – in the areas of economics, social policy and immigration – is a violation of EU rules, and her eventual arrival at the Elysee Palace could prove disastrous for the 27-member bloc.

Le Pen may have abandoned previous commitments to remove France – the founding member of the EU, its second largest economy and half the vital Franco-German engine that has driven it since its inception – from the single currency, the euro and the bloc.

In the 2017 elections, concerns about the economic consequences of this policy, especially among senior voters who fear for their savings, are widely considered to have contributed to its heavy defeat in the second round against pro-European Emmanuel Macron.

The EU is not among the top dozen key topics on its election program this time. However, many of its concrete policy proposals clearly run counter to the obligations of EU membership.

Opponents and commentators have called the strategy “Frexit in everything but name”: an approach which, while no longer aimed at removing France from the bloc, seeks to overhaul, and which could lead to a paralyzing dispute with Brussels.

You can read our whole story here:

Updated at 6:59 PM BST

Most polling stations are now closed, and we’ll know the first estimates in about half an hour.

It is recalled that these are not pre-election polls, but projections based on actual votes cast in a representative selection of polling stations across the country, which are then considered by opinion polls to provide a national estimate of the share of votes.

These estimates are historically very accurate, so we can be pretty sure of the end result if there is just over one percentage point among the bidders.

The three main electoral organizations now predict a non-turnout rate, the highest in France since 1969, reflecting the dissatisfaction of many voters with the choices offered to them (and the fact that much of the country has Easter holidays).

It is difficult to say which candidate a low national turnout would affect the most, as regional breakdown would be crucial. The real concern is after the vote, because an election with low turnout would inevitably lead to questions about the legitimacy of the incoming president.

It is worth noting that in many Western democracies, 72% turnout would be considered high.

French citizens overseas are also voting today, and Matt Weaver of the Guardian spoke to some of the 116,595 who are registered to vote in London.

After spending three hours talking to dozens of voters, Matt says he “didn’t find a single voter for the far-right candidate” – perhaps not surprising given that in 2017 Macron won 95% in the second round in London.

Michelle Pickard, a French teacher, said:

The first priority is to block Le Pen, but I quite approve of Macron’s policies and he is a real European and so am I. If he wins, it will be a small victory and he will have to take on board all these voters who are not satisfied with it.

Christian Eskenazi, the retired chief sommelier, was less enthusiastic about the current holder:

I find it too arrogant, but I’m pro-European and anti-Le Pen, so I had to go after him. It was not a vote for politics, it was a vote against the idea. My mother survived Auschwitz, but saw her mother and father die there. She has attended school all her life as a witness against racism and xenophobia. She warned of the dangers of far-right choice and the danger still exists.

You can read Matt’s full story here:

Updated at 6:09 PM BST