France exit polls indicate Macron wins presidential election; Le Pen concedes defeat

Key Points
  • Macron wins French presidency in landslide result
  • Macron seen taking 65.1% of vote versus 34.5% for Le Pen, IPSOS poll shows
  • Euro moves above $1.10 on Macron win
I will not disappoint you: Macron
I will not disappoint you: Macron

Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron will be the 25th president of France having beaten the far-right National Party's Marine Le Pen in the final round of the election on Sunday evening, according to exit polls.

In his first speech following the poll results, Macron cried "let's love France" to supporters gathered at his headquarters, maintaining he would prioritize tackling issues related to the economy, social fracturing and moral weakening.

Le Pen conceded defeat in a telephone call shortly after 8 p.m. local time, according to an aide to the defeated candidate. In a subsequent speech at her campaign headquarters, Le Pen called on "all patriots to join" in a new movement as she characterized the landscape as one split between "patriots and globalists".

The National Front party's deputy leader Florian Philippot added that the new party would no longer retain the same name, according to Reuters.

Exit polls still a victory for Marine Le Pen: Pro
Exit polls still a victory for Marine Le Pen: Pro

Macron secured 65.5 percent of the vote versus the 34.5 percent won by Le Pen, according to initial projections from both IFOP and Kantar-Sofres. A similar projection published by Harris Interactive gave Macron 66.1 percent of the vote versus 33.9 percent for Le Pen.

Voter turnout was recorded at 65.30 percent as of 5:00 p.m. local time, according to an official statement from the Interior Ministry. That figure compares to 71.96 percent at the same time during the last election in 2012 and 75.11 percent in 2007.

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The euro initially responded positively to the widely anticipated result with the single currency up by just over a third of a percent to $1.1035 at around 7:30 p.m. London time, ahead of the start of Asia trade. Once markets opened at 8 p.m. London time, the euro slipped back to trade only 0.10 percent higher at $1.1006 before edging up to $1.1018 by 9:10 p.m. London time.

The currency could have further upside ahead, according to Vasileios Gkionakis, head of global FX strategy at Unicredit.

"From now on what really matters is that the political risk premia have declined and this will allow the market to start focusing on a number of fundamental developments and I think these are positive on the euro," Gkionakis told CNBC on Sunday evening.

At 39-years old, Macron is set to be the youngest ever French president with his victory being interpreted as a boost for European cooperation, a concept of which he is a fervent advocate.

Subdued atmosphere at losing National Front headquarters
Subdued atmosphere at losing National Front headquarters

He is expected to push for a harder line on behalf of the European Union as the U.K. negotiates its exit from the trading bloc. On the other hand, while on the campaign trail, losing candidate Le Pen had advocated abandoning the euro currency used within the EU as well as closing the Union's open borders.

Following Macron's victory, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said that he was "delighted" that Macron would defend the idea of a strong and progressive Europe while a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the win as a "victory for a strong united Europe."

A spokesperson for Macron's En Marche movement claimed on Friday to have been aggressively hit by a "massive and co-ordinated" anonymous hacking operation which had resulted in 9 gigabytes' worth of emails and financial data being posted online to a document sharing site called Pastebin.

Franco-German partnership given a new lease of life: Expert
Franco-German partnership given a new lease of life: Expert

This came at the tail end of a dramatic campaigning period that has seen a series of scandals, demonstrations and vicious rhetoric shake news and markets.

France has a population of around 64.89 million people, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations, with approximately 47 million eligible to vote in Sunday's election.

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