PARIS May 7 Emmanuel Macron was elected
president of France on Sunday with a business-friendly vision of
European integration, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right
nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European
Union, early projections from five polling organisations showed.
The projections, issued as polling stations closing at 8
p.m. (1800 GMT), showed Macron beating Le Pen by at least 65
percent to 35 - a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage point
margin that pre-election surveys had pointed to.
The centrist's emphatic victory, which also smashed the
dominance of France’s mainstream parties, will bring huge relief
to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to
follow Britain's vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump's election
as U.S. president.
The 39-year-old former investment banker, who served for two
years as economy minister but has never previously held elected
office, will now become France's youngest leader since Napoleon
with a promise to transcend left-right divisions.
(Reporting by Ingrid Melander, Bate Felix, Sudip Kar-Gupta,
Michel Rose and John Irish, writing by Richard Balmforth and
Leigh Thomas; editing by Andrew Callus)