Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election

PARIS – Emmanuel Macron won another term as President of France, defeating Marine Le Pen, his right-wing extremist challenger, on Sunday after a campaign in which his promise of stability triumphed over the strong temptation of an extremist sling.

Ms. Le Pen admitted to Mr Macron not long after the polls closed. His victory, projected by early opinion polls by 58.2 per cent of the vote for Mrs Le Pen’s 41.8 per cent, was much narrower than in 2017, when the margin was 66.1 per cent to 33.9 per cent for Mrs Le Pen.

The French generally do not love their presidents, and no one had been successful in being re-elected since 2002. Macron’s exceptional performance in securing five more years in power reflects his effective management over the Covid-19 crisis, his revival of the economy, and his political agility by occupying the entire middle of the political spectrum.

Ms. Le Pen, who softened her image if not her anti-immigrant nationalist program, rode a wave of alienation and enchantment to bring the far right closer to power than at any time since 1944. Her National Rally party has joined mainstream, which has ended the taboo that stated that the defense of the republic meant keeping the far right in the margin.

Macron’s victory over Mrs Le Pen, a longtime sympathizer with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and the leader of a party hostile to NATO, will come as a relief to the United States and France’s European allies at a time when is a war raging in Ukraine.

Ms. According to her program and previous actions, Le Pen would have pursued policies that weakened the United Allied Front to save Ukraine from Russian attacks, offered Mr Putin a breach to exploit in Europe and undermined the EU, whose engine has always been a common French- German obligation to do so.

If Brexit were a blow to unity, a French nationalist quasi-exit, as Ms Le Pen’s proposal would have left the EU for life. It would, in turn, have crippled a significant guarantor of peace on the continent in a fleeting moment.

Mr. Macron’s second victory felt different from his first. Five years ago, he was a 39-year-old prodigy who burst onto the French political scene with a promise to bury sterile left-right divisions and build a more just, equal, open and dynamic society.

He managed to spur growth, cut unemployment and instill a new technological culture, but was unable to address growing inequality or smoldering anger among the alienated and struggling in areas with urban sprawl and remote rural areas. The social divisions intensified as incomes stagnated, prices rose, and automation killed factory jobs.

As a result, Mr Macron’s political capital is more limited, although his clear victory has saved France from a dangerous leap towards xenophobic nationalism.

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