President Emmanuel Macron beat far-right challenger Marine Le Pen with a solid margin, final results showed on Monday, but he showed no triumphalism as he acknowledged widespread discontent and all eyes turned to the June parliamentary ballot.
Macron won with 58.54 per cent of the votes, well below his 66.1 per cent victory against Le Pen in their first duel in 2017, and very far from the 82 per cent conservative Jacques Chirac won with in 2002 when most of France rallied behind him when the far-right first made it to the second round of France's presidential election.
"Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come," Macron said in a late-night victory speech.
"We will have to be benevolent and respectful because our country is riddled with so many doubts, so many divisions."
The conservative daily Le Figaro wrote in its main editorial on Monday: "In truth, the marble statue is a giant with feet of clay. Emmanuel Macron knows this well ... he will not benefit from any grace period."
The June 12 and June 19 parliamentary elections will be what hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon immediately called a "third round" of the presidential election, with opposition parties of all stripes hoping they can win this time.
"The recomposition of the French political landscape is not over. The majority that emerges from the parliamentary elections will be decisive for economic policy," said Amundi Chief Investment Officer Vincent Mortier.
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