The final round of the French presidential election was held on Sunday, and Emmanuel Macron won five more years as the nation's president after a 58.54% to 41.46% victory over rival Marine Le Pen.
"As the first sitting president in 20 years to be re-elected," writes Paul Kirby for BBC News, "the centrist leader told jubilant supporters at the foot of the Eiffel Tower that now the election was over he would be a president for all."
However, Le Pen told her supporters that her significant vote share still marked a victory, and the ideas her National Rally represented had reached new heights. According to BBC News, "Marine Le Pen took over the party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011 in a bid to make it electable. She won more than 13 million votes on Sunday, on a platform of tax cuts to tackle the high cost of living, a ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf in public and a referendum on immigration controls."
French election result: Macron defeats Le Pen and vows to unite divided France (Paul Kirby - BBC News)
In a related article from BBC News, Lucy Williamson reports, "Ms. Le Pen has expanded her party's appeal over the past decade, tailoring her economic policies to reach struggling, working voters disillusioned with the left. She's also spent years trying to soften her image and rid the National Rally of its toxic history, thanks to the anti-Semitism of her father and party founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen."
France election: Marine Le Pen concedes election but still counts a win (Lucy Williamson - BBC News)
Amanda Taub from the New York Times writes, "A record number of abstentions, and a strictly binary choice for voters — many of whom said they were picking the lesser of two evils — are trouble signs even within a mature democracy." And "when Le Pen made the second round runoff of the French election, the contest took on the tenor of a hostage negotiation" with Macron arguing that Le Pen was an "existential threat to France."
The Unsettling Warning in France’s Election (Amanda Taub - New York Times)