Relief and caution from French voters as Macron elected

Annaick holding her baby Image copyright Annaick
Image caption Annaick was sad that Benoit Hamon did not make it through to the second round, she says, "He's a real socialist."

Emmanuel Macron, figurehead of the centrist En Marche party, will become France's youngest president, and French voters have been sharing their reaction to the outcome.

Annaick, who lives in Lyon, told the BBC her heart was with Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon, but she had voted for Mr Macron in the second round of the election and was relieved he had been elected:

"I'm very happy. My family and I will be staying in and having a celebratory meal," she said.

Image copyright Margot Cadic
Image caption "The country would appear divided," says student Margot Cadic

Student Margot Cadic, from Paris, voted for Mr Macron in both stages of the election because she felt he represented her centrist and open values.

"I was a bit nervous during the day, but I'm relieved," she said.

"I wish there had been a bigger gap between him and Marine Le Pen.

"The country would appear divided, but at least Macron had a large victory.

"Hopefully, he'll be able to unite France.

"He understands that some people in France feel left out and misunderstood.

"He said he wants to represent them too.

"That will be difficult.

"Both left and right parties have to reconsider their position, and if they'd be willing to change their views to have a coalition with him."

Thierry Guedj, a finance director in Bordeaux, voted for Francois Fillon in the first round and then Mr Macron in the second.

"I am pleased with the result," he said.

"Emmanuel Macron was very presidential in his message of reconciliation and unity.

"I was surprised by the way he handled himself during his speech, and when confronted by Marine Le Pen in the recent TV debate.

"I'm feeling much more optimistic than at the start of the campaign.

"I feel Macron has improved a lot."

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Nadia Darcy, a therapist in Surrey, who has lived in the UK for 26 years, told the BBC she had voted for Jean-Luc Melenchon in the first round, then Emmanuel Macron in the second.

"I'm simply relieved," she said.

"I was a bit worried during the TV debate between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

"She was very aggressive and put his ideas down instead of providing her own.

"I still felt I had to vote for Macron, even though I didn't support him.

"However, he did impress me.

"He's got leadership.

"It's not over yet.

"His popularity has gone up because of the way he handled himself, but we need to watch over the next few weeks."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Emmanuel Macron held a victory rally at the Louvre on Sunday night

Pierre Gas, who has lived in the UK since 1993, and always voted for a Republican candidate was disappointed that Francois Fillon did not get through to the second round.

"I reluctantly voted for Macron," he said.

"I'm not very happy with the result, but it's a case of the lesser of two evils.

"I'm now hoping there will be a coalition.

"That could be possible.

"A lot of those who voted for Macron were not his supporters but did so to keep Le Pen out.

"A lot of people are fed up with the politicians of the last 40 years.

"I don't want five years of socialism.

"I want a coalition.

"I think Macron is too young and part of the elite, but let's just wait and see."

Image copyright Pierre Gatty
Image caption "I'm staying a bit optimistic. I'm half happy," says test pilot Pierre Gatty

Test pilot Pierre Gatty voted for Francois Fillon in the first round, and Emmanuel Macron in the second.

He told the BBC he had been confident that Marine Le Pen would not become president.

"We're not exactly celebrating," he said.

"I think Francois Hollande is behind Emmanuel Macron.

"This has been arranged for some time between them.

"I'd like to be sure Emmanuel Macron will lead with the interests of France.

"I'm not so sure now.

"I've seen so many people saying he's the best.

"Most of the socialists were fighting him, and now they're saying he's the best.

"Let's see what happens now.

"I'm staying a bit optimistic.

"I'm half happy."

Image copyright David Edwards
Image caption "The country will remain deeply divided for the coming months and years," says French national David Edwards

David Edwards is a French national living in Brittany with his wife and four children.

He voted for Emmanuel Macron in both stages of the election.

"It has been an eventful and quite emotional campaign," he said.

"Witnessing the normalisation of nationalist ideas on a grand scale is a thing I never thought I'd see.

"This campaign will probably leave scars across the electorate, the country will remain deeply divided for the coming months and years.

"Change must take place.

"The Front National will be right at the corner if Emmanuel Macron doesn't deliver the goods.

"Democracy and common sense have prevailed.

"La France est en marche.

"Let's celebrate, for now."

Compiled by Sherie Ryder, UGC and Social News team.

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