Emmanuel Macron will be France's next president, putting a 39-year-old political novice at the helm of one of the world's biggest economies and slowing a global populist wave. Polling agencies projected that Macron defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen 65% to 35% on Sunday. Macron will be the youngest French president ever, reports the AP. If that split is confirmed, Le Pen's showing would nonetheless be stronger than her National Front party has seen in its 45-year history. Le Pen's projected showing, unusually low turnout, and the record number of blank ballots are an indication of the headwinds facing Macron, a former economy minister.
Le Pen says she has called Macron to congratulate him and says the vote confirms her National Front party and its allies as the leader of France's opposition. Minutes after the first results were released, Le Pen said she would call for a new political force as legislative elections loom in June. She hinted that her party may rename itself from the National Front, which has been dogged by allegations of racism and anti-Semitism since it was founded by her father. (Read more Emmanuel Macron stories.)