French prime minister says Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election

Posted at 2:11 PM, May 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-07 16:04:27-04

PARIS (AP) -- The Latest on France's presidential runoff Sunday between centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has expressed his relief at the defeat of far-right Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election.

Corbyn tweeted Sunday that he was "delighted that the French people have decisively rejected Le Pen's politics of hate." French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron defeated Le Pen by a big margin.

The former leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, meanwhile, has offered his condolences to Le Pen, saying she could win France's next election in 2022.

Farage, who led the effort to take Britain out of the European Union, tweeted that Macron "offers 5 more years of failure, power to the EU and open borders."

Although he no longer heads UKIP, Farage remains a figurehead for nationalist parties in Europe.


9:45 p.m.

Belgium's prime minister has welcomed the election of centrist Emmanuel Macron as French president and invited him to join in the effort to reinvigorate the European Union.

Charles Michel has been a staunch backer of Macron in the elections and said in a twitter message "Bravo" when he learned of the clear-cut victory over extreme-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Michel has called on Macron to "let us work together to give Europe new momentum."


9:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on what Trump is calling Macron's "big win" in France's presidential election.

Trump also says he looks forward to working with France's new leader. He didn't immediately extend an invitation for Macron to visit the White House.

Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him."

Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen to win Sunday's election.

A White House statement cited Macron and the French people for "their successful presidential election" and said the United States looks forward to "continuing our close relationship with the French government."


9:25 p.m.

Several British politicians have congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted "Vive La France (Long live France). Congratulations to new president, Emmanuel Macron, on his decisive victory over the hard right." Sturgeon leads the Scottish National Party, which supports independence for Scotland and its continued membership in the European Union.

Macron, a centrist, has long backed France's continued membership in the EU. He beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in Sunday's runoff.

Tim Farron, leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats, says that "Emmanuel Macron has kept the wolves from our door, but we must never be complacent in the fight against racism, fascism and the far right."

Farron added that "this is not just a victory for France, but a victory for Britain and the liberal values we hold dear."


9:15 p.m.

France's president-elect Emmanuel Macron acknowledged divisions in society he says drove people to "vote to the extreme" and says he will work for all of France.

Macron, whose far-right opponent Marine Le Pen had called for leaving the European Union and returning France to the franc currency, says that he will defend both France and Europe as president.

The 39-year-old former banker, who served as finance minister under the unpopular President Francois Hollande, briefly acknowledged his onetime mentor.

But not once cracking a smile in the short speech, Macron says that he needed to look forward for the sake all of France.

It was less a victory speech than one of acknowledgement of the task ahead for Macron, who was projected to win 65 percent of votes cast for a candidate, compared with 35 percent for Le Pen.


9:05 p.m.

The head of the European Union's executive has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election as French president and says that his pro-European message will continue to be that of founding nation France.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says that it made him "happy that the ideas that you defended of a strong and progressive Europe that protects all its citizens will be those that France will cherish under your presidency."

Juncker had already shown his clear support for Macron after the first round in the elections and insisted that a win Marine Le Pen would have been bad for the EU and France alike.


8:50 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff has congratulated Emmanuel Macron, tweeting in French "vive la France, Vive L'Europe!" or "Long live France, long live Europe!"

Peter Altmaier says the result is "a strong signal for our common values."

Merkel's chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert, also has tweeted in French "felicitations," or congratulations. He says it's "a victory for a strong and united Europe."

Before the results came in, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat, urged support for Macron in his efforts to create jobs and undermine support for the National Front party's nationalist approach under far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Gabriel said that a Macron victory means that "we have only won time. We must do everything to see that Macron succeeds."


8:40 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has offered her warm wishes to France's new president-elect, saying she welcomes a chance to work with Emmanuel Macron.

May's Downing Street office says that she "warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success."

In comments released immediately after exit polls showed Macron's victory, May said that France is one of Britain's closest allies and "we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities."

France will be a key player in upcoming talks on Britain's departure from the European Union.


8:35 p.m.

Thousands of supporters of French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron have let out a big cheer when national television called the presidential election in his favor based on poll projections.

Macron's backers are singing "we have won, we have won" and are waving French flags in front of the stage in the courtyard outside the Louvre museum where he is planning to celebrate his victory.

Many expressed their relief that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen suffered a clear defeat.

Sandra Ledoux, a 32-year-old Macron supporter, says that she feels "very happy because Macron is young, innovative and he has a project to make Europe better instead of destroying it like Le Pen wanted."


8:30 p.m.

French President Francois Hollande says that he has called centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his election victory.

Hollande says it shows that the overwhelming majority of voters rallied behind the European Union and openness to the world.

It was Hollande who first brought Macron into the world of politics, naming the untested ex-banker as economy minister.

But Macron left the position to found his own political movement last year, and has distanced himself from his former mentor.

With nearly 20 percent of the votes counted, Macron had 60 percent of the vote to 40 percent for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, according to the Interior Ministry. The early results are primarily from provincial towns that lean more conservative than the cities, whose votes are counted later.


8:15 p.m.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen says she has called centrist Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him and says the vote confirms her National Front party and its allies as the leader of France's opposition.

Minutes after the first results were released, Le Pen said she would call for a new political force as legislative elections loom in June.

Le Pen received 35 percent of the votes cast for a candidate, according to polling agency projections, compared with 65 percent for Macron.

She hinted that her party may rename itself from the National Front, which has been dogged by allegations of racism and anti-Semitism since it was founded by her father.


8:10 p.m.

France's prime minister says that centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election.

Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement minutes after the last polls closed that the vote "testifies to the lucidity of the voters who rejected the deadly project of the extreme right." He said the vote shows an embrace of the European Union.

French polling agencies have projected that Macron has defeated Marine Le Pen 65 percent to 35 percent, with a record number of blank and spoiled ballots.