A French public broadcaster said centrist incumbent President Emmanuel Macron was assured victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election.
France 2 made the projection based on its own ballot counts, official vote counting and other information.
In Sunday’s second round, counting began immediately after the polls closed at 8 p.m.
Macron, 44, founded a centrist political group in the previous presidential election five years ago, advocating political regeneration.
He was elected France’s youngest leader, changing the course of French politics, in which the two main parties of right and left had traded power.
This time, Macron won his support by calling for cooperation among EU member countries to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He also highlighted his achievements over the past five years, including measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
Le Pen, whose support base includes low-income voters, cut Macron’s lead in the final stage of the campaign.
She criticized the government’s handling of soaring prices for goods such as fuel and pledged to take economic measures to raise people’s living standards.
In the first round of voting, a growing divide in French society was highlighted with more than 50% of voters voting for far-right or far-left candidates.
Macron will have to tackle the urgent task of allaying people’s frustration, bridging the divide through economic measures and improvements in living standards.
He will also face a leadership test of whether he can find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis as France chairs the EU Council in the first half of this year.