Many French Voters Yet to be Convinced by Macron

Macron defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen handily in Sunday's presidential vote, and now must pull together a majority for his year-old political movement by mid-June legislative elections.

"It's a new way of working, it's a bit different to the right- and left-wing politics we normally have".

Macron, who topped the first round of the election on April 23, campaigned on a pro-EU, pro-business platform, while Le Pen, a staunch anti-immigration candidate, wanted France to leave the 28-nation bloc and abandon the euro currency.

In her concession speech, Le Pen credited herself with upsetting the French political landscape, creating a divide "between patriots and globalists".

Le Pen's "France first", anti-Europe message struck a chord with great swathes of the country.

The former investment banker has little experience in governance, serving as economy minister for two years as his most senior role.

Le Pen expressed regret that the French people had voted for "continuity", but she has her sights set firmly on the future - particularly in light of gains that Le Pen dubbed a "historic result" for the National Front.

"To govern effectively, Macron needs the backing of a parliamentary majority (289 seats or more), but the chance of his movement being able to build one, from zero seats, appears slim", the analyst said. Macron wants to fight rising unemployment in France by flexible labour laws and other neoliberal tactics of competitive and open economy.

But Le Pen's 34 percent - a high in any national election for her far-right National Front - confirms her party as a formidable force, its French-first nationalism increasingly accepted by a growing swath of electors despite its history of anti-Semitism and racism.

Macron will be hoping that most voters take a similarly pragmatic line as he tackles a to-do list of unemployment around 10 percent, simmering tensions in deprived suburbs, and the home-grown Islamist radicalization that has contributed to a wave of attacks since 2015. Around 25% of registered voters abstained, the highest this century, while nearly 9% cast blank or spoiled ballots. While she wished him success, she continued to criticize her opponent as an establishment candidate, saying the French people had voted for "continuity". "More than ever in the forthcoming months France will need you", Le Pen said.

What's next for her party?

Le Pen, who met with Putin in Moscow in March, has called for the lifting of European Union sanctions against Russian Federation, imposed over its illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Jean-Francois Perier, 76, speaking at Le Pen's post-election event, said last week's candidates' debate had gone wrong for her. There is something I can't figure out that didn't work.

Macron has said he was aiming to secure an absolute majority in the lower chamber through the June 11 and 18 elections.

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