Emmanuel Macron projected to win French presidential election

By Luke McGee, Josh Berlinger and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 5:20 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022
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4:17 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Macron delivers low-key thanks to his supporters and urges them not to boo Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron gestures as he arrives to deliver a speech at his victory rally at the Champs de Mars in Paris on April 24.
Emmanuel Macron gestures as he arrives to deliver a speech at his victory rally at the Champs de Mars in Paris on April 24. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Emmanuel Macron has delivered a toned-down speech to his supporters in Paris, thanking them for their backing and telling those who voted for Marine Le Pen that he understood their "anger," and said "I am the President for each and every one of you."

The re-elected French President had to intervene as the crowd booed his opponent, saying that he would address "the anger that brought you to vote for her project."

The celebration was significantly lower-key than after Macron's victory in 2017, though he did once again walk to deliver his speech to the European anthem, commonly referred to as the "Ode to Joy."

Macron said during his speech that his second term would not be a continuation of his first, committing to address all of France's current problems.

3:37 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

German Chancellor congratulates Macron

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tweeted his congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his victory.

“Félicitations, congratulations, dear president @EmmanuelMacron. Your voters have also sent a strong commitment to Europe today. I am happy that we will continue our good cooperation!”

The Franco-German relationship drives much of the European Union's agenda and the two leaders will have to work closely in the coming years on a range of issues, from the Ukraine crisis to Europe's economic recovery.

Macron had a close relationship with former Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he managed to convince to back much of his European agenda.

3:30 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

European leaders hail Macron's projected victory

Europe's leaders are congratulating Emmanuel Macron on his reelection.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, in her good wishes, said that a strong EU needs a strong France, while Charles Michel, President of the European Council, wished him a "warm bravo."

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he looked "forward to continuing to work together on the issues which matter most to our two countries and to the world."

4:08 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

BREAKING: Updated projections widen Macron's lead

From CNN's Joseph Ataman in Paris

A supporter of French President Emmanuel Macron holds a placard reading "Emmanuel Macron With You" and others wave flags as they watch the first election projections being announced in Paris, France, Sunday, April 24.
A supporter of French President Emmanuel Macron holds a placard reading "Emmanuel Macron With You" and others wave flags as they watch the first election projections being announced in Paris, France, Sunday, April 24. (Thibault Camus/AP)

President Emmanuel Macron is projected to win re-election with 58.5% of the vote, according to updated analysis of early results from Ipsos & Sopra Steria for France Télévisions and Radio France.  

Marine Le Pen is projected to take 41.5% of the vote, according to the pollsters.

3:24 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

French far-left leader says Macron was "re-elected by default"

From CNN’s Joseph Ataman and Camille Knight in Paris

France's leftist movement La France Insoumise party leader and former candidate for the 2022 presidential election Jean-Luc Melenchon casts his vote during the second round of France's presidential election at a polling station in Marseille, southern France, on April 24.
France's leftist movement La France Insoumise party leader and former candidate for the 2022 presidential election Jean-Luc Melenchon casts his vote during the second round of France's presidential election at a polling station in Marseille, southern France, on April 24.

French far-left politician and presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon slammed Emmanuel Macron’s re-election, but portrayed the electoral defeat of far-right politician Marine Le Pen as “good news” for France on Sunday.

Melenchon narrowly missed out on the French presidential runoff to Le Pen two weeks ago.

“The ballot boxes have decided. Madame Le Pen is beaten. France has clearly refused to entrust its future to her and this is very good news for the unity of our people,” he told his supporters.

“Now, Mr. Macron is the most poorly elected of the presidents of the Fifth Republic [note: since 1958]. His presidential monarchy survives by default and under the constraint of a biased choice. It floats in an ocean of abstention, blank and invalid ballots,” he added.

There was a projected 28.2% abstention rate in Sunday’s runoff, according to pollster Ipsos & Steria, the highest for 20 years.

4:43 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Macron's supporters celebrate in the Eiffel Tower's shadow

From CNN's Xiaofei Xu in Paris

Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron watch a screen in front of the Eiffel Tower as the first election projections are announced in Paris, France, Sunday, April 24.
Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron watch a screen in front of the Eiffel Tower as the first election projections are announced in Paris, France, Sunday, April 24. (Christophe Ena/AP)

As the sun sets on the French capital, Emmanuel Macron’s supporters are enjoying the victory of their candidate in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

As DJs played dance music, it feels like the Champ de Mars has turned into a nightclub.

People burst into joyful cheers when the clock hit 8 p.m. local time, as Macron’s image emerged on the screen as the victor of this election.

In a sea of French and EU flags, supporters jumped up and down, chanting the catchphrase of Macron’s campaign: “One, two, and five more years.”

3:11 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Le Pen hints at a bright future for France's right-wing voters

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks after the early result projections of the French presidential election runoff were announced in Paris, Sunday, April 24.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks after the early result projections of the French presidential election runoff were announced in Paris, Sunday, April 24. (Francois Mori/AP)

Marine Le Pen has hinted that despite losing the presidential election to Emmanuel Macron, securing nearly 42% of French voters means her far-right movement has a solid base on which it can build for the future.

At her concession speech, Le Pen said that the "game is not quite over since in a few weeks the legislative elections will take place."

She added: "Tonight we launch the great battle of the legislative elections... with all those who have the nation at heart... I will never give up on the French."

2:59 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Le Pen concedes election, but calls result a victory

From CNN’s Joseph Ataman and Camille Knight in Paris

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks after the early result projections of the French presidential election runoff were announced in Paris, Sunday, April 24.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks after the early result projections of the French presidential election runoff were announced in Paris, Sunday, April 24. (Francois Mori/AP)

Marine Le Pen has conceded defeat in the second round of the French presidential election, even as she celebrated her “historic score” in the vote. 

"A great wind of freedom could have blown over our country, the fate of the ballot box wanted otherwise.”


But Le Pen shrugged off disappointment at her National Rally party’s campaign event in western Paris, casting her loss as a victory for her movement and the “forgotten” French people who voted for her. 

“The results of tonight represent a shining victory.

“In this defeat, I can't help but feel a form of hope. This result constitutes for our French leaders as for the European leaders the testimony of a great mistrust of the French people towards them which they cannot ignore and that of the widely shared aspiration of a great change,” she said. 

Her supporters appeared ebullient even in defeat, interrupting her speech with chants of “Marine, Marine, Marine.”

Le Pen pointed to legislative elections in two months, and urged those who voted for her to keep supporting the National Rally party.

She added: “I will not abandon the French! Vive la France,” she concluded.

4:42 p.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Relief and concern for French allies as Macron's victory soured by millions voting for Le Pen

Analysis from CNN's Luke McGee

National Rally candidate for upcoming 2nd round of French presidential election, Marine Le Pen holds her last meeting for the campaign for president on April 21, in Arras, France.
National Rally candidate for upcoming 2nd round of French presidential election, Marine Le Pen holds her last meeting for the campaign for president on April 21, in Arras, France. (Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Macron will serve a second term as the president of France – the first person to do so since 2002 – pollsters have projected. 

His victory over right-wing rival Marine Le Pen by a relatively comfortable margin of 58.8% to 41.2% will be met with a huge sigh of relief in the capital cities of France’s most prominent allies – most notably in Brussels, home of the European Union and NATO. 

Le Pen could almost be purpose built as someone leaders of the Western alliance would least like running a country as important as France. 

France is a member of NATO, the EU and the G7. It has a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and is a nuclear power. Yet despite its deep embedment in these pillars of the Western order, France also historically favors an autonomous foreign policy, meaning it can act as a broker between the US-led Western order and nations like Iran, China and Russia. 

Le Pen’s previous ties to Russia, unenthusiastic view of NATO and hostile view of the EU meant that her victory would have rattled cages around the world. 

However, if the projections are correct, the scale of Macron’s victory tonight will mean celebrations are cut short for many French allies. Far from Macron’s impressive 2017 victory, where he defeated Le Pen comfortably with 66% of the vote, that margin is now much smaller. 

For all that defeating the far-right for the second time is a great victory for Macron, France’s allies will be very awake to the fact that nearly 42% of French voters, according to the data, supported someone who stands against so much of what they are for. 

Nowhere will this be felt more acutely than among the leadership of NATO and the EU. 

For NATO, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been the first real test of the alliance’s unity in years. While eyebrows were raised at some of the decisions taken by Macron during the crisis, NATO has largely been on the same page. 

Based on Le Pen’s previous relationship with Putin and disdain for NATO, very few thought this wouldn’t create a problem not just in NATO, but also at the UN Security Council. 

When it comes to the EU, Macron has hardly been shy about his desire for Europe to become stronger and more united in terms of its security and foreign policy. His vision of European unity at times irritates many of his counterparts, who think he is trying to force through a French vision for Europe, though his commitment to the project cannot be questioned. 

Le Pen, on the other hand, is more dangerous than someone who wants France to leave the EU: she would be able to lead the group of Euroskeptics who want to take over the bloc from within. 

There are a significant number of these people already represented in the EU institutions. In the parliament, far-right parties are represented in a number of countries. Where things get messier is at the national level. 

There are EU member states, most notably Hungary and Poland, that are led by people whose view of the EU is very close to that of Le Pen. This was underscored last year when she joined numerous other right-wing leaders, including national leaders, in an open letter opposing many of the progressive ideas that have been proposed over the past decades by Brussels. 

For the traditional West, Macron’s second term is a moment of great relief, but also a moment of warning. If the far-right continues to make gains, there could be a very different outcome five years from now.