French president-elect gears for transition, as do rivals

Leaders of the 28-nation European Union, from which Le Pen said she wanted to remove France, were explicitly effusive in their congratulations. "And every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in those Brexit negotiations", she said. "He has work to do".

The 39-year-old centrist has promised to transcend the traditional right-left political divide that has allowed vested interests to block fundamental economic reforms.

Clinton implied efforts to interfere with the French election had failed, likely referencing the release of hacked Macron emails two days before the election. "Now we have the legislative elections and it will be a bit complicated to really change something".

Macron also needs to gather in France's National Assembly elections next month the necessary parliamentary support to pass critical labor and tax reforms that are the minimal policy preconditions to enable French business and enterprise to flourish, Schirach noted. "Obviously the government elected after June 8th will be sitting down and talking to Monsieur Macron and others about how that system we have works for the benefit of France as well as the benefit of the United Kingdom", she said.

But Le Pen's 34 percent - a high in any national election for her far-right National Front - confirms her party as a formidable force, its French-first nationalism increasingly accepted by a growing swath of electors despite its history of anti-Semitism and racism.

During his campaign, Macron has been advocating for a greater co-operation and integration with the European Union on fiscal and social regulation. "And so we have an huge responsibility vis-a-vis the French people, who trust us", said Nicolas Bay, the party's secretary-general.

The vote appeared to be as much a rejection of Le Pen as it was an endorsement of Macron.

"I want to live in a democracy", he said. The election of Macron is being seen as the strengthening of EU. Until recently he was deputy editor-in-chief at Agence France Presse.

The abstention rate was 25.44 per cent, the highest since the presidential election in 1969.

Trump did not endorse any candidate in the election, though many believed he supported Le Pen after comments he made in April in apparent praise of the far-right candidate's tough stance on immigration.

"Nearly half the French electorate still voted for parties who ran on an anti-globalisation ticket".

Earlier, Le Pen told supporters she had called to congratulate Macron after exit estimates projected her heavy defeat.

The interior ministry on Sunday reported a record number of blank and invalid ballots, accounting for nine per cent of all registered voters, compared with two per cent in the first round.

In her concession speech on May 7, Le Pen portrayed her loss as a victory of "globalists" over "patriots" and announced plans to establish a new political association that will take part in the elections.

With 34 percent, Marine Le Pen nearly doubled her father's score.

  • Leroy Wright