In France, the far-right is defeated - for now

Ukip a victim of its own success says leader Paul Nuttall

Macron pledged to pull France out of its economic malaise - unemployment is at 10% - and make the country more competitive, in keeping with his ultimately unsuccessful calls for reform as economy minister under Hollande.

Growing resentment at the European Union and fears over immigration saw her soar in the polls, but she lost to pro-European centrist Macron in the final duel for the French presidency.

Paris: Pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron stormed to victory in the French presidential election, roundly defeating his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in a run- off vote.

Emmanuel Macron, French presidential candidate for the On the Move (En Marche) movement, delivers a speech at a rally after the first round of French presidential election in Paris, France on April 23, 2017.

Final results showed Macron won a higher-than-expected 66.1 percent of the vote against 33.9 percent for Le Pen, which many of her allies view as a disappointment.

"When the new government takes office there will be many common themes to discuss".

Macron, 39, has proposed an ambitious domestic reform agenda including cutting state spending, easing labor laws, boosting education in deprived areas and extending new protections to the self-employed.

The FN holds just two parliamentary seats now, but is hoping to increase that number to 20 following the presidential election. Macron faces a major challenge in the parliamentary elections in June, when Le Pen's National Front, Republicans and Conservatives may pose a stiff fight to his nascent political movement, 'En Marche!' Having emerged as a consensus candidate against a strident Le Pen, and with support across the political spectrum, Macron would perhaps have to build bridges in the legislature as well.

Although the National Front can count on a loyal base, it has only two seats in the current Lower House of Parliament, and a poll last week predicted the party would win only around 15 to 25 seats in next month's elections.

One of Macron's other priorities will be to name a prime minister. He has previously said he would like to appoint a woman.

Hollande, who launched Macron's political career by appointing him as an advisor before appointing him to the cabinet, greeted him warmly before they laid a wreath together under the Arc de Triomphe.

The same forces that had led to Brexit and Donald Trump - popular anger with distant elites, economic inequality and immigration - threatened to hit the continent hard in a year in which Europe's largest countries were holding elections. "I will do everything I can over the next five years to ensure that people no longer have any reason to vote for extremes", he said.

But National Front vice-president Florian Philippot said Ms Le Pen remains the "uncontested" leader of the party even after her heavy defeat. In interviews, National Front officials said the party founded by her father would get a new name to try and draw in a broader spectrum of supporters. A vote for globalisation, not nationalism. This could give the National Front a significant increase on the two seats the party now holds. But the challenges facing France's new leader are enormous: He and the party he created from scratch barely a year ago will now try to stock the country's legislature with enough allies to move his agenda forward. But anti-European sentiment has a firmer foothold in Italy, which will hold a general election by early next year.



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