European and world leaders congratulate Emmanuel Macron

Donald Trump congratulated Mr Macron on his "big win", while Enda Kenny called it an "outstanding result"

European and world leaders congratulate Emmanuel Macron

Picture by: Liewig Christian/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

World leaders have congratulated French President-elect Emmanuel Macron following his election win over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Mr Macron secured more than 65% of the vote, compared to Ms Le Pen's 35%.

The centrist - who founded the En Marche! political movement just over a year ago - will become France's youngest-ever president at the age of 39. 

Once sworn in on Sunday, Mr Macron will take over from the outgoing President Francois Hollande.

Both men took place in VE Day commemorations in Paris this morning, with a ceremony being held at the Arc De Triomphe. 

Mr Macron laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and spoke to gathered veterans.

Picture by: Stephane de Sakutin/AP/Press Association Images

Speaking to supporters at the Louvre last night, Mr Macron said he 'guaranteed unity' while acknowledging the 'immense task' ahead.

Mr Macron said Europe and the world were "watching us" and "waiting for us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, threatened in so many places".

"France has won! Everyone said it was impossible. But they do not know France!" he said.

Ms Le Pen conceded defeat shortly after the first results were revealed. She called Mr Macron to congratulate him, while telling her supporters that French voters had chosen 'continuity'.

She pledged to carry out a "profound reformation" of her National Front party and to become a "new political force".

Mr Macron's win marks the first time since 1958 that a representative from the traditional centre-left and centre-right parties has not won a French presidential election.

"Outstanding result"

World leaders have been publicly and privately congratulating Mr Macron.

President Michael D Higgins has written to the new French leader to "convey his best wishes for a fruitful Presidency".

In a statement, Michael D Higgins said Mr Macron's "many references to the need for renewal of European purpose, based on European values and a commitment that his Presidency will engage not only with French but European and global matters, will be welcomed by all those seeking a positive discourse on contemporary issues, which are perceived as threats by many".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, meanwhile, said: "I am delighted that a leader with a positive ambition for Europe has won this election decisively and will join us with a strong mandate in the European Council.

"This outstanding result is a strong signal of confidence in the future of the European Union in which France will play a significant part in the time ahead."

In a phone call with the French President-elect, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she "looked forward to working with the new president on a range of shared issues," with Downing Street noting that the leaders "briefly discussed Brexit".

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Mr Macron on his 'big win'.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described Mr Macron's win as 'historic'.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Mr Macron to congratulate him, her spokesman said.

Steffen Seibert said Mrs Merkel "praised his stance for a united and open European Union during the campaign" and that "the decision of the French voters is a clear statement of support for Europe".

EU leaders including Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk have also warmly welcomed the result, after Ms Le Pen had pledged a referendum on France's membership of the union.

Prominent UK and US progressive politicians Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders also welcomed Mr Macron's win, with Senator Sanders saying France had "rejected racism and xenophobia".

Additional reporting by IRN