France’s Emmanuel Macron acknowledges widespread discontent after defeating far-right challenger

President Emmanuel Macron beat far-right challenger Marine Le Pen with a solid margin 58.54% of the votes, but well below his 66.1% victory against Le Pen in their first duel in 2017, and very far from the 82% secured by conservative Jacques Chirac in 2002.

President Macron showed no triumphalism as he acknowledged widespread discontent and all eyes turned to the June parliamentary ballot.

“Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come,” Macron said.

“We will have to be benevolent and respectful because our country is riddled with so many doubts, so many divisions.”

The June 12 and June 19 parliamentary elections will be what hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon immediately called a “third round” of the presidential election, with opposition parties of all stripes hoping they can win this time.

“The recomposition of the French political landscape is not over. The majority that emerges from the parliamentary elections will be decisive for economic policy,” said Amundi Chief Investment Officer Vincent Mortier.