France [Europe] on Sunday wrenched off the siren call of right-wing populism that delighted voters in the United States and United Kingdom, declining anti-E.U. rebel Marine Le Pen and choosing as its next president Emmanuel Macron, a centrist political neophyte who has pledged to arouse both his struggling country and the flailing continent.
The result brought to a close a hectic and polarized campaign that mocked prediction at nearly every turn, though not at the end. Pre-election polls had outlook a sizable Macron win, and he appeared to have delivered, with extensions issued after polls closed showing him with around 65 percent of the vote.
A downcast Le Pen admitted defeat, telling her demoralized supporters in Paris that the country had "chosen continuty." During the interval, a loud celebration of Macron backers was getting underway outside Paris's Louvre Museum.
The conclusion will come as a major respite to Europe's political establishment, which had formidable a Le Pen win would throw in reverse decades of efforts to forge continental integration.