Emmanuel Macron beats Marine Le Pen to win French presidency - As it happened

Reuters

So a dramatic evening all round and that ends IBTimes UK's coverage of the historic French election.

Emmanuel Macron has made history as his country's youngest leader since Napoleon in 1848. At 39, he is now the ninth youngest leader in the world, the youngest G7 leader and the fifth youngest leader of a democracy.

To finish our coverage, we look at his standing among the world stage's freshest faces.

One of the more unusual images of a dramatic election night, shows Marine Le Pen dancing and mouthing the words to I Love Rock and Roll, by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, courtesy of a Tweet by the Financial Times journalist Michael Stothard.

French President elect Emmanuel Macron speaks at his victory rally near the Louvre in Paris.Reuters

Macron has addressed the crowds in front of the Louvre, arriving on stage to the sound of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, which significantly is the anthem of Europe.

He told the crowd: "We have the strength and the energy. We will not give in to fear, to division, to lies, to a love of decline or defeat. I know what I owe you, to my companions, my family, my friends. It will not be easy. The job will be difficult."

President elect Macron says want to unite torn France during presidencyReuters

Here is the video of Emmanuel Macron's speech with some of the highlights of his address in which he tried to pull together his opponents.

He said a new page had been turned in French history and he wanted it to be a page "of hope and trust".

He also added that he had heard the "anxiety and doubt" that voters had expressed and said he would fight the forces of division undermining the country.

He said that a new page was being turned in French history.

Emmanuel Macron delivers a victory speech at his campaign headquarters in Paris on May 7, 2017.Getty

It is a historic election but what happens now?

On Monday (8 May) the official result of the election will be announced by the interior minister, Matthias Fekl. Macron will be president-elect as the mandate of the current president, Francois Hollande, ends at midnight next Sunday (14 May).

Next weekend is when the real handover of power happens when he goes to the Elysee to meet Hollande. He will visit the tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the Arc de Triomphe and on Monday (15 May) will have to name his prime minister.

Then the real work begins.

The euro has hit a six-month high as the markets and investors have reacted after the French election result.

In early trading the euro rose to $1.102 in early trading which is its highest position since the US election last November as investors express relief that there is no more uncertainty over France's membership of the European Union.

Donald Trump has congratulated his French counterpart, unsurprisingly using Twitter, as well as making use of the opportunity to take a swipe at "fake news".

The speech by Emmanuel Macron concludes as his supporters gather outside the Louvre.

He ends his speech in which he paid tribute to his predecessor, Francois Hollande and his opponent, Marine Le Pen, by saying "Long live France, long live the republic!"

Macron continues his message of hope.

He says: "We will build a better future...my dear citizens, I would like to salute President Hollande. During the five years that begin my responsibility will be to calm fears.

"My responsibility will be to gather all men and women ready to face the challenges we are faced with.,..such as digital development, threats such as terrorism, I will fight with all my strength against the division that has been created."

Macron has said he will defend France and Europe and that he would help ensure peace and equilibrium.

He says France will be at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.

"Dear citizens, a new page of our history has been turned tonight, and I would like it to be that of hope and trust".

Macron continues his victory speech.

He says: "We have duties towards our country, we have inherited an extraordinary history...I will defend France, its vital interests its images its message and I commit to this in front of you I will defend Europe...it is our civilisation that is at stake".

Macron has said it is a great honour to win the presidency he says he is aware of economic and social difficulties.

"I would like to salute my adversary Marine Le Pen...I also know the anger, the concern, the doubts that many of you have also expressed and it is my responsibility to hear them."

In his victory speech, Macron has said: "It is a great honour and an enormous responsibility because nothing was written in stone. I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, my gratitude I express to all of you who voted for me and supported me.

"I will not forget you. And now citizens of our country, whatever your choice, there have been a number of difficulties that have weakened us too long".

Marine Le Pen gives her concession speechReuters

Here is Marine Le Pen giving her concession speech in front of her supporters as she hints that her party may undertake a further rebranding.

There are technical issues it seems for Macron as the TV feed is being broadcast internationally and pictures show him practising his speech.

He appears to be unaware that he is on international television, and is asking his team questions about his microphone.

Macron is about to speak and give his victory speech.

He may be at loggerheads with the British prime minister, but European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker appears keen to have an altogether better relationship with Macron, as he tweeted his congratulations, breathing a sight of relief no doubt that that the European project still has its main backer.

French President Francois Hollande has called Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his election victory.

He said: "I have expressed to him all my wishes for the success of our country".

Hollande was the first president in modern history not to stand for re-election.

Macron becomes France's youngest ever president, aged 39.

Prime minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said that the vote showed that France is embracing the European Union.

In a statement he said the election showed: "Testifies to the lucidity of the voters who rejected the deadly project of the extreme right."

Striking while the iron is hot is British prime minister Theresa May, who may herself be receiving messages of congratulations should she win the British election in a month's time.

May said in a statement: "The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new President on a wide range of shared priorities."

Le Pen ended her concession speech by saying: "Long live the republic, long life France!"

Le Pen said: "The National Front has decided to have alliances and has to to renew itself to deal with this new historic opportunity. I suggest we have a deep transformation of our movement".

Marine Le Pen is making her concession speech after achieving the best result for a far right candidate.

She tells her party faithful that she has called Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his victory.

She said: "The French have chosen a new president and they have voted for continuity. I would like to thank the 11 million French who voted for me as well as the activists who supported me."

The projection by Kantar Public One Point-TF1-RTL, which puts Macron as the next president of France, has also given the French far right its highest number of votes in history.

French polling agencies are projecting that a record number of voters cast blank or spoiled ballots in presidential runoff, Associated Press has reported.

The ballot boxes have closed and Macron is projected to have won, getting 65.5% of the vote to Le Pen's 34.5%.

The projection for turnout, is now around 74%, which if confirmed, would make it the lowest in the second round of a French presidential election since 1969.

Bruno Cautres, a political scientist at Cevipof, a French think tank, told Le Parisien that there is a "sociology of abstention," which depends on socio-economic factors and that the low turnout would hurt the Front National.

"Young people, the least educated, the most fragile will tend to abstain more than others," he said.

A picture taken on May 4, 2017 shows a voter ID displayed on top of campaign flyers of French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le PenLOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

As tension builds before the ballot boxes close, people are waiting with bated breath at what the exit polls will say.

The pollsters, who are a lot more accurate than the ones on the other side of the English Channel, put Macron comfortably ahead.

IBTimes UK breaks down the figures before polling day and looks at the policies of the two leaders vying for France's top job.

Paris prosecutors have opened a probe into the hacking of Emmanuel Macron's campaign which had fingers pointing at possible interference from Russia.

Around nine gigabytes of data which included thousands of emails and documents were dumped online, although their contents seemed relatively unremarkable.

Front National leader Marine Le Pen, surrounded by police on election day, 7 May.Reuters

Welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of the French presidential election, as the final ballot boxes area bout to close at 8pm local time (7pm BST).

Already, many ballot boxes have already closed, but there is still 45 minutes for people to choose between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

Le Pen cannot count on the support of her father it seems, after the uncompromising founder of the National Front, said that she lacked the qualities to be president. Whether the French electorate feel the same way, will be revealed in the coming hours.

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