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.