A man stands in front of posters during the second round of the French presidential election in the town of Saint-Sulpice-des-Landes, western France on May 7, ...and more »
Jean-Sebastien Evrard | AFP | Getty Images
A man stands in front of posters during the second round of the French presidential election in the town of Saint-Sulpice-des-Landes, western France on May 7, 2017.
Rising far-right nationalism in Europe is still looking for another major victory, for now.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron will win the French presidential election over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen with roughly 65 percent of the vote, according to projections from polling firms. If that margin holds, Macron will have outperformed the average of recent polls, which forecast him getting about 61 percent of the vote compared with 39 percent for Le Pen, according to an aggregation from Huffington Post Pollster.
However, winning even 35 percent of the vote would be significant for Le Pen — an anti-immigration nationalist who may have tried to pull France from the European Union — and her National Front party ahead of legislative elections in June. Still, nationalist movements have failed to prevail in at least two recent high-profile European elections since the triumphs last year of President Donald Trump in the United States and the British vote to leave the EU.
Earlier this year, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte won re-election after a closely-watched challenge from anti-immigrant Geert Wilders, whose Party for Freedom slightly underperformed polls leading up to the election, according to FiveThirtyEight.
That said, Rutte's center-right VVD party lost eight seats in the parliamentary election, while Wilders' party gained five and became the second-largest part in the Netherlands' parliament.
Nationalism vs. globalism
Far-right parties in Austria, Finland and Bulgaria also underperformed their polling in elections since Trump won the U.S. presidency, according to FiveThirtyEight.
While right-wing nationalism has certainly gained traction in the West and beyond, Sunday's result is another temporary reprieve for more globalist, free-trade elements.
Macron, an independent candidate and former financier, is a European Union advocate and free trade supporter. He received an endorsement from Trump's predecessor President Barack Obama, a Democrat and supporter of global institutions.
Trump, a Republican who shook the American political structure by winning on a platform of pulling out of trade deals and cracking down on immigration, more subtly signaled he preferred Le Pen to win.
The U.S. president tweeted his congratulations to Macron following Le Pen's concession speech, however.
Trump tweet: Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!
A spokesman for Germany's Angela Merkel, a center-right chancellor seen as a strong defender of the European Union, congratulated Macron after the projections and said it is a "victory for a strong and united Europe."
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