Emmanuel Macron beats Le Pen in French presidential election

Emmanuel Macron

MNA International Desk: Emmanuel Macron crushed his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen in the final round of the French presidential election on Sunday, with almost all votes counted. At 39, the pro-EU former investment banker will become France’s youngest-ever leader.

Almost definitive results showed Macron winning 65.82 percent of the vote in the first ever election he has contested, far ahead of the nationalist Le Pen at 34.18 percent.

But in a sign of widespread voter disillusionment, one in three voters abstained or cast a blank ballot.

Ms Le Pen called her opponent to wish him success in dealing with the “challenges” facing the country, following the early results.

She claimed the vote was a “historic, massive result” for the French far-right, telling supporters that the FN “must renew itself to live up to this historic opportunity and the expectation of French people.”

Ms Le Pen picked up a record 7.6 million votes in the first round of the election. This is the strongest ever result for a  far-right candidate and 2.8 million more than her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, got when he made it through the first round of the presidential election in 2002.