Emmanuel Macron has overcome another challenge from Marine Le Pen, making him the first president to be re-elected since 2002, when there was also a Le Pen on the run-off ballot. Moreover, it makes him the first President in the Fifth Republic to be elected while holding a legislative majority: not a bad way to enter the history books. In the end, it wasn’t so close. There is concern about polarisation and low turnout among the young, which may be occurring for France-specific reasons but hardly seem like France-specific problems. Otherwise, Mr Macron led in almost all age groups other than those in their 50s and kept significant if reduced majorities in many cities.
After the victory, the campaign: Mr Macron now has to name his Prime Minister to lead La Republique en Marche to the legislative elections in June. A period of cohabitation would almost certainly trip up reforms. In this case, Mr Macron has history on his side. French voters tend to back the party of the President: the last time they failed to do so was when sitting President Jacques Chirac lost the snap election he called in 1997. Early polls suggest LREM are ahead, but there are calls for co-operation to the left and the right.
Even if history holds for Mr Macron in June, he is expected to face opposition from the streets as he continues to pursue his reformist agenda. Remembering recent history, this could be more than just politically disruptive. With this his final constitutional term, many also wonder what will become of LREM après Macron. An ally of the President has said that the first job is to unify. With 5 more years of challenging reform, alliances on the extremes rising and established parties of the French centre showing no signs of recovery, if Mr Macron fails, he may leave the Elysée to a politically very different leader.