Paris, April 24 (IANS) Thousands of Parisians assembled near the iconic Eiffel Tower – where a giant television screen broadcast live updates about the polls – cheered as an official preliminary declaration of the result of the French presidential election declared President Emmanuel Macron winner within minutes of balloting coming to an end. This without use of electronic voting machines, which are banned in France because of their established unreliability.
The first projection of the actual outcome – generally subject to minor corrections – gave Macron, whose politics is centrist, 58.2 per cent of the votes to his Far Right opponent Marine Le Pen’s 41.8 per cent.
This is the first time since Jacques Chirac of the right of centre Republican Party was re-elected in 2002 that an incumbent will be retaining his occupancy of the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French president.
Ipsos estimated an abstention of 28.2 per cent, which, however, was 2.6 per cent higher than the 2017 presidential election.
Le Pen has now been defeated twice in a row by Macron, but increased her vote tally compared to five years ago.