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France's Macron steps down as En Marche! leader

14 Mai 2017

In a poll, 59 per cent of Macron voters said they supported him primarily to keep Ms Le Pen from becoming president.

Where does this leave Le Pen?

Macron's victory, by 66 percent to 34, was more comfortable than surveys had predicted, and has triggered a rare public display of disagreement among National Front officials and allies over campaign policies.

The Trump administration is expected to decide in the coming weeks on whether to withdraw from the agreement signed by 175 countries at the United Nations past year.

"Happy that the French chose a European future", said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as EU observers noted triumphantly that Mr. Macron had the EU anthem "Ode to Joy" play as he took the stage for his victory rally.

Theresa May has sought to turn Emmanuel Macron's victory in France to her own electoral advantage, telling supporters that she needs a big mandate to match his. "Macron gives Europe huge hope".

"President Trump emphasized his desire to work closely with president -elect Macron in confronting shared challenges, and noted the long and robust history of cooperation between the United States and its oldest ally, France", the White House said.

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Macron's defeated presidential rival Marine Le Pen has also signalled a need to adapt.

The list of candidates, many of them young and half of them women, represented Macron's first stab at creating a parliamentary power base with his Republic on the Move party to help him push forward with reforms once in office.

The outcome will help restore some of the EU's self-confidence after it was battered by Britain's decision to leave the bloc past year. "The voters' demand for political renewal has swept everything aside, politicians of the establishment have been eliminated one after the other, and the victor is someone who has never been elected before".

The party, founded a year ago, will continue to campaign in legislative elections to take place next month. The failure of the traditional parties to make a strong showing in the first round showed that French voters were ready for a change. Macron wants to cut back these gains, claiming that the economy will boom once businesses have been "unleashed".

Macron, who will be inaugurated on Sunday, takes over from his former mentor, the deeply unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande, who decided against seeking a second term.

He added the movement will start the battle for the legislative elections and campaign under a new name: "La Republique En Marche". With at least five political formations contesting all 577 seats, a hung parliament could emerge. Le Pen was able to bring her party in from the margins of right-wing politics to the mainstream.

In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May said Macron's election makes it even more important for British voters to back her Conservatives and strengthen Britain's hand in European Union exit talks.