French President Emmanuel Macron was reelected for a second term. He received 58.5% of the vote in the election.
“My dear fellow compatriots, it is with ambition and kindness for our country, for all of us, that I want to tackle by your side the next five years to come,” President Macron said in his victory speech Sunday. “This new era will not be a continuity to five-year term that is ending, but rather the collective invention of a re-found method for five years of better serving our country, our youth.”
While Macron was reelected with a comfortable margin of victory, the French president faced an historic challenge from far right nationalist Marine Le Pen. The 41.5% of the vote she pulled in is unprecedented for the French far right and was significantly more than the 34% of the vote she took in when she faced off against Macron in 2017.
“This time it didn’t work out, but we made good progress compared to the previous times, the score was never so high,” Le Pen supporter Didier Bernard said. “So of course we are disappointed that she didn’t pass this time, now there are the legislative elections and we are going to concentrate on the legislative elections to get the maximum number of deputies.”
World leaders watched France’s election closely, with many of France’s western allies hailing Macron’s reelection. He has been a key figure in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and has sat down with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the pursuit of diplomacy.
Le Pen, however, campaigned on loosening France’s ties to the EU and NATO. She also spoke against EU sanctions on Russian energy supplies and faced scrutiny during the campaign over her previous friendliness with the Kremlin.
“We feel good about the French election,” President Joe Biden said Monday after landing at Joint Base Andrews following a weekend in Delaware. “I tried to talk to [Macron] last night. We’ve spoken to staff, but he was at the Eiffel Tower having a good time. So I’m going to be talking to him today.”
Protests broke out in Paris following the results, with police using tear gas on protesters. In a separate incident, police shot three men who were driving their car toward police. Two of the three died and the other was severely injured. While the incident happened in the hours after Macron was reelected, it wasn’t immediately clear if the three men were protesters.