President Emmanuel Macron beat the far-right challenger Marine Le Pen with a solid margin, final results showed on Monday, but he showed no triumphalism as he acknowledged widespread discontent and all eyes turned to the June parliamentary ballot.
Macron won 58.54% of the vote, well below his 66.1% victory against Le Pen in his first duel in 2017 and very far from the 82% secured by conservative Jacques Chirac in 2002 when most of France rallied behind him when the far-right first made it to the second round of France's presidential election.
Many people in this country voted for me not because they supported my ideas but because they were trying to keep out of the far-right. Macron said in a late-night victory speech that he wanted to thank them and know that they will be a debt in the years to come.
We will have to be benevolent and respectful because our country is riddled with so many doubts, so many divisions. In its main editorial on Monday, Le Figaro wrote: In truth, the marble statue is a giant with feet of clay. Emmanuel Macron knows that he will not benefit from any grace period. The parliamentary elections on June 12 and June 19 will be what hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon referred to as a third round of the presidential election, with opposition parties of all stripes hoping they can win this time.
The majority that emerges from the parliamentary elections will be decisive in terms of economic policy, said Vincent Mortier, Amundi Chief Investment Officer.
On Monday morning, the message across the Macron camp was that they would listen more, after Macron called his leadership style Jupiterian, suggesting that he would stay above the political fray.
When a proposal that affects the lives of the French comes to the National Assembly, the deputies must go and discuss it with the French leader Richard Ferrand, a close ally of Macron, told France Inter.
There is a risk of a divide between the French and the Parliamentarians. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Franceinfo that price caps on energy would be put in place until the end of the year in order to help the surge in energy prices caused by the Ukraine war.