French President Macron Wins Second Term Over Right-Wing Candidate Le Pen
Emmanuel Macron salutes voters as he leaves his house to go vote on April 24, 2022 in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, France. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen were both qualified on Sunday April 10th for France's 2022 presidential election second round to be held on April 24
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron has won a second term, according to pollsters’ projections, fending off another challenge from a right-wing candidate.

Macron faced off against Marine Le Pen in a runoff election held Sunday in France. Pollsters predicted an hour before voting closed in the country that Macron would easily win, beating Le Pen by nearly 17 points.

“President Macron is expected to take 58.2% of the vote to Le Pen’s 41.8%, according to an analysis of voting data by pollsters Ipsos & Sopra Steria conducted for broadcasters France Televisions and Radio France,” CNN reported Sunday.

Shortly after the predictions, Le Pen conceded, stating, “A great wind of freedom could have blown over our country, the fate of the ballot box wanted otherwise.”

She concluded her concession speech promising to continue fighting for France. “I will not abandon the French! Vive la France,” Le Pen said.

Le Pen gained support as a nationalist candidate who focused on an extreme France-first agenda, standing against NATO and immigration. She also vowed to ban Muslim women from wearing headscarves in public, something Macron quickly criticized as dangerously xenophobic. “I’m telling it in a very clear manner: I think the headscarf is a uniform imposed by Islamists,” Le Pen said, according to the Daily Mail.

The race became heated last week when, during a debate on Wednesday night, Le Pen pledged to ban headscarves in public and Macron accused her of being “in the grip of Russia.” Macron claimed that Le Pen is still paying back money to a Moscow bank as Russia invades Ukraine. “War is raging on the continent,” Macron said during the debate.

“Times are very dangerous indeed. Russia is strengthening its offensive, and this will lead to more human disasters,” he added.

After the debate, polls showed Le Pen drop among voters. “Survey results published hours after the face-off showed Macron on 59 per cent of the vote, and his right-wing right rival on 39 per cent, with 2 per cent abstentions,” the Daily Mail reported.

The two political rivals also faced each other in the 2017 election when Macron beat Le Pen by an even larger margin than what pollsters are predicting for Sunday’s outcome. In 2017, Macron won nearly two thirds of the vote to Le Pen’s 33%, per The New York Times.

The Times also wrote that Macron becomes the first French president to be reelected since 2002.

The French president has been criticized for his harsh words toward those who wish to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. In January, he doubled down on saying he wanted to “piss off” unvaccinated people, The Daily Wire reported.

“When some make from their freedom … a motto, not only do they put others’ lives at risk, but they are also curtailing others’ freedom,” Macron said in January. “That I cannot accept.”

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