French President Emmanuel Macron says 'Europe and the world is waiting'.

Macron beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen after receiving 65.5% of the vote

French President Emmanuel Macron says 'Europe and the world is waiting'.

French independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron | Image: PA Images

Updated at 22:00

Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election, according to projections.

The centrist candidate has won more than 65.5% of the vote, comfortably beating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen who got 34.5% of the votes. 

It marks a stunning rise for Mr Macron, who only set up his En Marche! (On the move) party last year.

Macron has recently addressed the nation saying that he wants to "calm people’s fears, restore France’s confidence, and gather all its people together to face the immense challenges that face us in the future"

The election has seen a shift in French politics, with the traditional centre-right and centre-left parties falling at the first round, leaving Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen to fight to the finish.

Many who plan to vote said they were choosing between the "lesser of two evils" because they didn't find either remaining candidate acceptable after their party was ejected from the race.

Mr Macron's victory will be welcomed in European capitals in the wake of a populist tide that has seen Britain vote for Brexit and the US elect Donald Trump.

He wants deeper EU integration, while Ms Le Pen's policies included France leaving the bloc, quitting the euro and cracking down on immigration.

The final day before voting was overshadowed by revelations that Mr Macron's party had suffered a "massive and coordinated" hacking attack.

Campaign documents, financial, professional and personal information were made public.En Marche! called it an attempt at a "democratic destabilisation" designed to undermine Mr Macron's chances.

Taoiseach's response

The Taoiseach has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election.

Enda Kenny says there's lots of work ahead for all of us in Europe, but the future holds promise as both countries work towards a European Union of prosperity and equality for all.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election as President of France today, and said he is looking forward to working with him in the future on issues of mutual concern to both Ireland and France.

He said "President-Elect Macron's victory is not only a victory for him, and his movement, but also a victory for the values that Ireland and France share: openness, tolerance and reason.

"His message of inclusion, diversity and respect, allied to his progressive radical economic platform saw him secure victory in an election that caught the imagination of people right across Europe.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has also congratulated Macron on his victory saying "Congratulations @EmmanuelMacron on such a decisive victory - a mandate for tolerance, inclusion & Europe & a vote against exclusion & fear

Theresa May comments 

British Prime Minister Theresa May has "warmly" congratulated France's new President-elect, Emmanuel Macron.

She says France is "one of the UK's closest allies" and she "looks forward to working with the new President on a wide range of shared priorities."