The 2017 French Election has officially come to a close. After the final round of voting, France has elected Emmanuel Macron as the next president of the French Republic.
Votes were tallied at 8:00 PM GMT. Shortly after, it was concluded that Macron was projected to take victory over the highly controversial leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen. Fifty percent of the vote was needed to win. Macron currently stands at 65.5% of the vote while Le Pen took a mere 34.5%.
The final vote of the election cycle comes after a tumultuous campaign cycle and several days of controversy. It was widely speculated that a Le Pen held an edge over Macron.
On Thursday the candidates faced off in a final debate. Le Pen was quick to criticize Macron’s conflicting position as a former investment banker and his “big economic interests.” Nevertheless, most news media outlets deemed Macron the winner of the debate.
The real upheaval came yesterday when news broke of a massive leak of Macron’s emails and accounting records. While a legal prohibition on campaign communications went swiftly into effect, this leak was highly untimely for Macron who up until then had remained clear of controversy. It is suspected that U.S. far-right activists supported these hacks in order to cast doubt about Macron and tip the scale towards Le Pen.
In the final hours of election day, it was reported that voter turnout was down from the 2012 election. This would disadvantage Macron as those that expected him to win consequently did not feel compelled to vote.
Despite efforts of his opponents, Macron maintained a steady 20 point lead over Le Pen up until the final hour of election day and won with a comfortable margin. At age 39, Emmanuel Macron is officially the youngest person to become president of France.