Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency with a decisive victory over the far-right Marine Le Pen.
Macron, who has never held elected office and was unknown until three years ago, is France’s youngest president.
Emmanuel Macron, to become the world’s youngest president within days,won by 65.1% to 34.9% over Marine Le Pen
Macron, 39, a former economy minister ran as a “neither left nor right” independent and promised to shake up the French political system.
“A new chapter in our long history has opened this evening,” Macron said in a statement.
“I would like it to be one of hope and of confidence rediscovered.”
Macron will next Sunday take over a country under a state of emergency, still facing a major terrorism threat and struggling with a stagnant economy after decades of mass unemployment.
François Bayrou, an ex-minister and Macron’s centrist ally said: “He is the youngest head of state on the planet which sends an incredible message of hope.”
“Macron is giving hope to people who had no hope. Hope that maybe we can do something, go beyond the [left-right] divide that no longer makes sense.”
Le Pen swiftly conceded defeat. She said she had won a “historic and massive” score which made her leader of “the biggest opposition.
The Socialist president François Hollande, who was once Macron’s mentor and had appointed him economy minister, said: “His large victory confirms that a very great majority of our citizens wanted to unite around the values of the Republic and show their attachment to the European Union and show France is open to the world.”