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Emmanuel Macron has held off a challenge from far-right leader Marine Le Pen to retain the French presidency, according to projected results from French polling agencies.
The centrist incumbent is projected to receive between 57 and 58.5 percent of the vote in Sunday’s second-round runoff, versus 41.5 to 43 percent for Le Pen, his nationalist rival, France24 reports.
If accurate, Macron will triumph decisively though by a smaller margin than in 2017, when he won by more than 30 percentage points to became France’s youngest president. While falling short of the Élysée Palace again, in her third presidential run, Le Pen still looks to have secured the most votes ever for a French far-right candidate.
Le Pen’s challenge to the country’s mainstream order and the West’s unity against Russia had officials in Europe and Washington anxiously following the election amid the war in Ukraine.
She conceded defeat in a speech to supporters shortly after the projections were released, but said her unprecedented vote total represented “a shining victory in itself.” “The ideas we represent are reaching summits,” she said.
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